Who We Are
We're the people that you may see every day and night. We're people that you depend on one way or another. We're working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
When you and your children pass us in the store, and you can't control them, you make them afraid of us. You tell them if they don't behave, you'll tell us to "get them". My friend, we aren't monsters. We don't want them to be afraid of us. We want them to know that we're their friends, and they can trust us. Do you know who we are?
Sometimes, we have to play the role of lawyers, judges, psychiatrists, reporters, medics, marriage counselors, investigators, firefighters, and many many times, just be a good listener. These are just a few skills that we must be able to utilize at any moment in the performance of our job.
We're constantly scrutinized by the media, and you, the public. We're bashed by you. If one of us makes a mistake, it sometimes makes the local news, and possibly even national and world news.
Many of you are more interested in what a few of us do wrong, than what most of us do right. You forget that we're not perfect. We're human, and we do make mistakes. Have you ever made a mistake?
We have the same emotions that you do. If something is funny, we laugh. If something is sad, we cry. When repeat offenders are released from prision and placed back into society to rape, rob. and murder again, we get angry just like you. We wonder why they are put back out also.
We suffer from the same problems that some of you do. Some of us at this very moment are thinking about committing suicide. Some of us already have. Some of us, if not most, have marital problems. Some are alcoholics, and yes. some of us even have problems with drugs. Again, we're just like you.
We're of every race, sex, religion, nationality and even sexual preference known to mankind, yet, if we strike back to defend ourselves, we're called racist and prejudiced. Do you know who we are?
Most of you have no idea what we go through every day and night. You have no idea what kind of decisions we must make in a split second. Decisions that may forever change someone's life, family or future. Decisions that a jury will have hours or days to decide whether we were correct or not.
Many people would love to cause us pain, injury or even death. Some wish we didn't exist at all. We're cursed, ridiculed, shot at, cut, beaten, ambushed or murdered in cold blood by some. Would you ever imagine that we're here for those people also? Would you believe that we're the only thing that stands between you and them?
We see things that would horrify most of you. Things that you may think only exist in large cities. That's a common misconception. We see death, broken bones, dismembered bodies, and cut throats. The list is too long to really go on. These things are everywhere. A lot of the things you see only on TV or at the movies are all too real to us.
We see innocent little children that have no choice but to live in dirty, smelly, roach infested homes because their parents would rather sit on their butts and live on welfare in a government funded housing complex, or a house that is not fit for human habitat, than to get out and get a job. Parents that would rather spend more, if not all of their money getting high on drugs, than taking care of their children, and raising them in a clean environment. Some of the parents are only children themselves.
As I said before, we're human, and we have feelings. It hurts knowing that these children may never get to see and do things that other children with loving, caring, hard working parents are doing. I wonder if any of them will ever get to see that magical wonderland called Disney World.
Yet, our job is one that looks appealing to some of you. Especially when you see us stopped for lunch. We've heard some of you say things like "I wish I had a job that would pay me to sit around and eat." Of course, you don't think that the very next minute we may be fighting for our lives, or yours.
When you see us riding down the road, and you, not knowing where we're going, or what we're about to face say "I wish I could get paid to ride around all day and write tickets". My friend, I wish that was all we had to do. Do you know who we are? I think you do.
You don't see us as we ride through your neighborhoods late at night, trying to protect you, your family and property from the thieves who could care less about how long and hard you worked for everything you own. You may not know this, but they are roaming your neighborhood at night too while you are fast asleep. They're looking for anything of value that is easy to get. Things that you carelessly leave unsecured or laying in your yard. No neighborhood is completely safe.
When something is taken from you, you call us. Some of you will complain and wonder where we were when your property was taken. The sad, but true story is that we are extremely outnumbered by the bad guys. We can't be everywhere at once, and they know that. I wish there were more us us. You should know who we are by now. If you don't you will soon.
Now, the types of crime and the people that I have mentioned aren't the only ones that we come in contact with. We also come into contact with you, the citizen that never does any wrong. We're all too familiar with you and the remarks that you make when our paths meet for whatever reason. Whether it's running a stop sign, a red light, speeding, or DUI. If we had a dime for everytime we heard you say "I pay taxes! Why don't you leave me alone, and go get the drug dealer standing on the corner?" "There are people out doing worse than me!" Or the famous..."I pay your salary!" We would be rich!
We know that those of you that make an honest living do pay taxes. So do we!
If we concentrated only on the drug dealers, how many innocent people would be injured or killed if we were to ignore the people that travel extremely too fast, or the people who get behind the wheel while intoxicated? The number now is too high, and is still climbing. I can't help but wonder how many lives we have saved by stopping the speeders and the drunks. Could one life have been yours or one of your family members?
We know there are people doing much worse than you, but the bottom line is, there are many laws that must be enforced, from minor traffic violations all the way to hardcore crimes such as rape and murder.
To the remark "I pay your salary". All I can say is, "Well, we're doing our job, boss."
If for some reason you still don't know who we are, we're the Police Officers, Sheriff's Deputies, State Troopers, State Police, FBI, and everything in between. We are many, but are still too few!
As I said at the beginning, we are always here for you. If you need us, call. Even if you don't, you don't have to be afraid of us. Remember that we are on your side. You can talk to us anytime you see us sitting on the side of the road, or in a parking lot, or walking in a store. If some of you would just get to know us, I think you would find out what I've tried to explain. That is, we are just like you. We just have a different job.
Note: To some, I might sound some what arrogant. I'm sorry for stepping on anyone's toes, or just plain and simple "Ticking anyone off!" That is not my intentions. It may sound like Im down on all citizens, but Im not. You know who you are. I don't profess to be a writer, or to always use the correct words to convey what I feel, but I try. What you have read took about 2 years of adding to, and taking away. Its been a lot longer and a lot shorter. It's how I and a few other LEO's that I have let read it feel, however I do not speak for all. It was suggested to try and publish it. I may some day. Any comments are welcomed.
Sgt. Richard J. Brown