The Perception of Law Enforcment

In the past decade, the way the population views law enforcement has changed dramatically, at least when referring to how media portrays them. Gradually, as the forms of online media and conversational sites have improved, the mistakes of government and any other kind of enforcement are more easily spoken about. Due to the nature of news, and users attempting to gain attention, Law enforcement has been receiving several blows to their credibility, with posts on reddit detailing mistakes they claim the police have performed, to news cast bringing up accidental innocent injury and other mishaps impossible to avoid in the field. Before the current style of communication, this wasn’t an issue, but now, this has finally molded into a new sort of mentality, usually regarding the police as incompetent or undeserving of their status. Which is a real shame, considering the large number of good individuals willing to risk their time, lives, and now, dignity, protecting the public.

The outlook on officers commonly displayed by the younger generations is poisonous, creating a disregard to authority, along with an increased likelihood to simply break protocols for enjoyment. It’s unfortunate this outlook has been forced on Law enforcement, when they should be looked upon as, while not necessarily heroes, at least human. Many of the posts and slang regarding officers refers to them in very inhumane fashion, such as referring to them as animals such as pigs or hounds, Anything the public can grasp onto to help delude themselves from the fact that the average officer is simply a human doing their job. People don’t seem to take into consideration the sacrifice one has to go through for law enforcement, not only are you hated by the criminals, but now, disliked by those their saving as well, who are they fighting for?

Individuals of law enforcement are commonly the most level headed of the population, despite public consensus, and for good reason. As taught to concealed carry users, those in a position of power have to constantly be cooling situations off, due to the automatically dangerous nature of an engagement with a weapon carrying individual. These people are usually the best at keeping control of their emotions and remaining logical of all the population, it’s required for the job quota, they go through weeks of training for this purpose, self control. The power hungry cop often described in media isn’t realistic. Yes, they may exert force if one’s resisting, but they are always acting to the best of their ability to protect others. It’s easy to forget the number of wrong choices they have in front of them, far more than right choices, every situation an officer finds himself in will display a huge number of possible outcomes, they have to use their training and natural intuitiveness to formulate which outcome is the best – It’s not surprising they sometimes make mistakes, it’s our job to forgive them.

Hopefully, the wounded state of this generation will heal, and realize how important law enforcement is, given time. It would certainly provide more motivation for the officers themselves, to be cheered upon, rather then scolded. Simply thinking of the stress of knowing how many possible situations could arise when dealing with the worse half of the population is distressing. Fortunately, we don’t have to, due to the bravery of our nation’s best.

Bralev@mychawanakee.org

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