Making Police Nervous: A View From The Other Side of the Blue Line
By an Anonymous State Trooper
This message was sent in be a State Trooper who choose (for valid reasons to remain anonymous). It was written as a response to the Associated Press article, “WA: Web Site Making Police Nervous.” This trooper takes issue with this article, as well as the attitudes and opinions of The Sierra Times itself, and some of its readers. Very enlightening. - Sierra Times
In this day and age of identity theft and the drastic and traumatic effect that it can have on a person once their credit is ruined by a thief, openly providing this information, to include social security numbers, about anyone on a public forum such as the Internet is almost a certain guarantee that damage will be done.
Because of the nature of a policeman's job, by putting phone numbers and addresses of these officials on the internet along with other personal information is another guarantee that not only these officers, but their families, will be harassed at all hours of the day and night and most probably even endangered. Not everyone who will be openly handed this information has honorable intentions and this lesser of the group includes the most unscrupulous and most criminal of society. I will accept any attack on me personally by the dregs of society as a condition of my employment. I have. But when it becomes an attack on my family and endangers those that I love, then I will fight like no other person you have ever seen. I will NOT take it sitting down. And a lot of police officers will do the exact same thing. The saying goes, "Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned." Whoever wrote that has never met a police officer that has had his family threatened by the lowest form of life on this planet. By actively posting the information mentioned in the above article you make the job of these criminals just that much easier. You are throwing the baby and the neighbor's baby out with the bathwater.
Having seen this first hand I can attest to the truthfulness of the above statements of fact that I've made and much more damage than good will be done, even for the most honest and forthright of the officers. Not only will you scorn the many thousands and thousands of freedom-loving, Constitution-defending police officers who ARE on your side, you will turn them against you.
Many people out there who are dealt with by the police are some of the most depraved and evil that society has to offer and until you've seen an attempt to burn an officer's house at 2 a.m. in the morning while he works and his family sleeps, until you've seen the irreparable damage that can be done by the garnishing of unlimited amounts of defaulted and bogus loans, until you've seen the damage that is done by the unsolicited mass mailings of pornographic and derogatory packages and letters received in the mail, not just by the officer but his children and his wife every day of the week, you have no concept of what this supposedly good intentioned effort by this idiot Sheehan can do to reek havoc and damage on the personal lives of every officer involved and his family members, not just the ones who need to be kept in check. And yes, there are bad officers out there, just as there are bad CEO's, bad schoolteachers, bad mechanics, bad store clerks, bad secretaries, bad contractors and bad school bus drivers. But there aren't as many as some people purport there are.
Freedom loving individuals must remember that there are a lot more police officers out there who are freedom loving Jeffersonian Democrats and libertarians who are just as revolted at the actions of an out of control big government than they could possibly realize. Readers must also realize that way too many people in this country who are not even willing to get off of their lazy duff and do what is necessary to cure the problem. They are simply happy to just sit back and throw bullets, rocks and feces at the messengers, to sit back and complain and whine and wring their hands, all the while doing nothing productive to change the political climate in this country. These are the people who should have their personal information put on the internet - the useless complainers and whiners, the sheeple who cry despair but aren't willing to even pull the right lever at election time in the privacy of the voting booth. They do much more damage and carnage than the very limited number of bad police officers that Mr. Sheehan and even the Sierra Times realizes.
The readers here had better realize that most in the police profession are much more frustrated then they, and are much more disturbed by the turn of political events in this country than they could ever possibly be, simply because not only do we see the results of bad government every single day and hour of the week, we are somehow given the arduous task of enforcing these bad laws. We must enforce them because they were enacted by Legislature which is supposedly the will of the people, and until such time as the citizens demand reparations and correction from those Legislators and these bad and unconstitutional laws are revoked, changed or rescinded, we are bound by the very Constitution that we defend to enforce them. We personally see the principles of the Constitution we have sworn to uphold torn to shreds by back room dealing and sweetheart deals in the governmental buildings in this country.
We not only personally deal with the products of free government handouts and bad government programs, we are not only bound to enforce these bad laws BECAUSE the citizenship cannot collectively get their acts together to have them changed, we must also deal with those people who spend all of their time and efforts complaining and whining but are never willing to take any action of any significance to change things. Any attempt by an honest, freedom-loving police officer in this country to suggest to people to do the right thing, any hints that are dropped as to the proper course of action that must be taken, any attempt by them to stir individual citizens to action to correct the problem, is usually just met with utter and complete resistance, or in most cases pure and simple laziness and inaction, a quiet yet dangerous condoning of the very bad laws that they are complaining of.
The police profession is one of the most stereotyped professions in the world and that particular stereotype in the overwhelming vast majority of cases could be no further from the truth.
Supposed attempts at instilling honesty and oversight in the police profession similar to those being taken by Mr. Sheehan may be somehow honorable in their intentions but it will only have the effect of destroying one of the largest and most patriotic section of freedom loving Americans that there is. Until the readers here realize that fact, until the readers here begin to hear for themselves the subtle hints that are dropped on citizens every single day by most every single officer on the job, until the readers here realize that we cannot go out and openly stir people to action because we must maintain an air of neutrality in our profession, and until the readers here actively get on their feet and start down the road to correcting the problem through action, rather than simply whining about it, nothing will get done and the problems we face will only get bigger and worse. Much bigger and worse than many here can possibly fathom.
Readers must also understand that the words of most police administrators are not the words of the officers on the street, the ones doing the job, but those of the political mechanism in place. No two viewpoints could be more diametrically opposed than that of an officer who's worked a beat for 25 years and that of an administrator employed to run such a department at the whims and folly of the politicians that control him.
It's a strange and lonely position to be put in, that of a freedom loving, libertarian citizen, a defender of the Constitution that many wave in others faces, one who happens to have the profession of a babysitter for society. I say babysitter for that's what we've become. People are less and less willing to accept personal responsibility with each day that passes; they simply want freedom handed to them. No, they DEMAND that freedom be handed to them because it is their "Right." In the words of Michael Cloud ~~ "Personal responsibility is the price of freedom." Freedom will NOT be handed to you. You MUST go out and earn it. You must not only earn it, you must fight each and every day to retain it. Vigilance is also the price of freedom, ever and eternal vigilance as in the word's of our forefathers. Do not simply sit back and demand it, for you will lose it. You will lose it to those with ill-intentions, plain and simple.
We, as patriotic police officers, despise the direction that big government is taking, we know in our hearts and minds that it's the wrong direction, yet we see examples every single day of supposed "freedom loving citizens" who cry and scream the loudest and yet do absolutely nothing of significance to change it. It creates one of the most frustrating feelings that one could ever have. The masses crying out for help, demanding that action be taken, that the country be put back on the right track, that personal values and morality return to its rightful place in the hearts and minds of Americans, and then to see nothing but inaction, nothing but more of the same no matter what attempts we take to change it.
When someone says "This is a stupid law!" we will respond with "Contact your senator" or "Vote for someone else who will change it" or "Form a group to lobby the Legislature" we are telling you in the strongest words that we can that nothing will be done until someone takes the first step. We in this profession have the distinction of seeing the results of an overly big and out of control government first hand and yet we must wear a muzzle the entire time we are fighting the same battle. As a condition of the job to remain neutral and apolitical, we must forcefully restrain our voices when we speak to the average American citizen. We are not allowed to be involved in politics in any way other than our single vote in the voting booth, and rightly so, for it must be that way. Justice must be blind.
If you don't like the laws, then get them changed or revoked. If a particular law is being abused, then remove it. If a certain politician speaks from the side of his mouth, if he says one thing and continues more of the same, then remove him from office. If government is becoming to omniscient and overpowering, then restrain it, cut it down to size. Attack the problem, not those who are necessarily empowered to blindly enforce the laws and provisions that were enacted by the representatives of you, the people. You - through your votes, you - through your inaction, you - through your failed vigilance are solely responsible for the very things that you complain about. "You" know who "you" are and I need not point "you" out.
And then we as police officers get branded as "jack-booted thugs," as "criminals with badges," as "rights stealing agents of the government." Many of the readers here apparently have no idea how frustrating and helpless a feeling that can be. "We" are simply enforcing what "you" allowed to be emplaced, so put the blame where it belongs - on "you."
We will continue to drop the subtle hints that we can to attempt to stir the people we come in contact with every single day to action. And we will continue to see the response -- or should I say non-response. It creates a feeling of despair like none other than you've ever seen unless you've been in our shoes, you've been in our position.
Some of us will sometimes cross that apolitical line in our frustration and despair and our leashes will get jerked and they will get jerked hard. I know. And I know of others. I have purposely left my name and email blank here because a viewpoint of this nature, if tied to me, could generate a personnel complaint initiated from within my own department if it were somehow tied to me, resulting in a probable suspension without pay simply because I am crossing that apolitical line as an agent of blind justice. If someone wants, I'm sure they could find out just who it typing this comment, but I'll make them work for it. But I'm frustrated enough with the wailing and crying yet inactive population of this country to take that risk. I will continue to do my job that I am good at. I will continue to drop hints on the complainers and whiners that I come across every single day. I will continue to do my job that I love the best that I can, respecting the rights of my fellow citizens the best that I can. I will continue to thwart the abuse of power granted to us by none other than "The People" the best of my abilities. After all, when I took this job I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of this state and this country to the best of my ability and I meant it with all of my heart.
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