Police Keep the State in Statism
A lot of the stories I come across are from google alerts that I’ve set up to Cop Block’s Gmail account. Which is exactly how I found this article titled, “Police Officer’s keep the ‘free’ in Free Society.” My first thought was “are you kidding me?” I mean police are anything but free as taxpayers pay outrageous taxes for police services. Though I’ll get into all that later, for now here is what Joseph Lauck wrote that prompted this post:
I’ve been a South Bend cop for 25 years. That represents thousands of reports and tens of thousands of dispatches into houses and lives of citizens. I’ve protected businesses, homes, shopkeepers and homeowners.
I’ve been bitten by dogs and people, spit on, known murderers and molesters. Prostitutes and low-life’s have come, gone and come again. Many of them are dead and gone, others repented and forgiven. Most just got older.
I deal with criminal children of former criminals stuck in a cycle of misery. I’ve endured more “experts” submitting their solutions than I care to recall. I’ve stood in wind chills below zero, and been drenched in sweat beneath a bullet-proof vest.
I started answering police calls in 1985 when squad cars were shared among three shifts, and shotguns secured with broom clips. Incrementally we added strobe lights, river rescue bags, haz-mat suits, gas masks, computers and video equipment. Ten-pound gun belts, the least favorite on my size 32 waist, include pepper spray, Tasers and other options that were not available or required “back in the day.”
The city has a lot invested in uniformed cops — it is understood and appreciated. We return the investment and then some with our efforts, minds, bodies and lives. We stand between criminals and law-abiding taxpayers.
If that sounds melodramatic, then you don’t get it; stand in the dark with that midnight cop and listen to the sound of breaking things and loud voices hurling vulgarities in the house you’re about to enter alone and you will understand.
The trouble call on the streets involves no discrimination, no filter of socio-economics. I’m sent to an address, to the fight, dispute or gun call, without questioning who called, their income level or their race.
I’m a white cop who has protected black and brown property and lives and never batted an eye at the difference. Black cops have protected white property and lives — it’s what we do.
Society’s manifest racial issues are never far from the world I inhabit, and yet on an individual level it never comes up. I move effortlessly between white, black or Hispanic neighborhoods. An intelligent, honest cop doing his job may be one of the least biased of all people.
Any casual reading of the newspaper reveals what I know intimately: Some bad people inhabit the streets with us. Some people will steal what’s not nailed down, clobber you over the head for a sandwich, smash up your property or confront you over a lane change. Cops can’t be everywhere and we deal with the fallout from good people confronting the bad; please recognize this kind of person and protect yourself and your family.
We have raised an increasingly higher proportion of young citizens who respect very little and it shows in their behavior at home, school and in interactions with the community. It shows during interactions with cops — some punks don’t care about being questioned by an officer; it’s just another authority figure at whom to sneer and mutter incoherent replies.
A recent study documented 75 percent of males in the category for military recruitment can’t pass the standards — physically, academically or criminally. The youth of the nation absorb incremental amounts of consequence-free violence and sex from games, TV, movies, and music. I am certain it can ultimately manifest in crime.
However, even a cynical cop can be proud of much here. My favorite place in the city is the Morris Performing Arts Center. I’m dumbstruck when people say they have never been inside this glittering jewel. We have restaurants to rival anything in much bigger cities. From alterations, shoe repair, dry cleaners, to wine and gourmet food, we have the nicest small businesses you could ever want to patronize — I know because I visit them when I work. Cops like popping in on the businesses that populate their beats, and the feeling is mutual, I assure you.
Our business folk can stand head and shoulders with Chicago or Indianapolis. Look for them and spend your money with them — I do.
I have driven every mile and alley and can identify personal favorite places where a bit of architecture, art or willow tree capture my fancy. As long as I can contemplate that bas-relief St. Michael standing proudly with his sword, I know my cynicism is not absolute. These light moments illuminate the dark places and people often encountered in police work. I’m happy to find them, file them away and revisit them during my day.
My shared experiences over the past 25 years are meant to represent the Everyman Officer with whom you come in contact: the rookie still learning, or the old war dog I sit next to in roll call with 43 years of experience who can pick his way through a bank robbery in his sleep. Both have my respect and deserve yours. Our police are what keep the “free” in “free society.”
Here’s my riff on the Constitution’s preamble: “We the people” ordained and established the thing “in Order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …” It all relates to the police officer’s function. I may not make it another 25 years, but on a good day, full of myself, I’m willing to try.
Does Joseph Lauck know the definition of free; Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty and/or Not controlled by obligation or the will of another. Does he think that telling people what to do is freedom? Lets apply the definition of free to the actions of police officers.
Police are here to protect businesses, homes, shopkeepers and homeowners according to the above article. Though the reality is they do more harm than good. Are police protecting businesses when they enforce laws that restrict sales of a certain product? Are police protecting homes when they kick in the door because someone has an ‘illegal’ plant? Are police protecting people when they arrest them for victimless crimes? Are police allowing a free society to function when they enforce these revenue generating ‘crimes?’
The answer is clearly NO! When police ticket someone for a burnt out headlight (or any victimless crime) the domino effect can be dramatic. Instead of police leaving this matter alone, as I’m sure the vast majority of people would fix their headlights with out the police telling you to, they pull you over and issue you a ticket (I know in some states its only a warning, if so, substitute in another victimless crime). The fact that you can be forced to the side of the road, forced to appear in court, forced to pay the fine and forced into a jail cell if you don’t comply is not a free society. The actions of police in matters like this also force people to choose between the path above (which could lead to jail time) or getting to work, putting food on their tables, roofs over their heads, ect.
Then there’s a free society in terms of monetary value. Where if police really put the ‘free’ into free society they most definitely don’t do so in terms of financial value. They hold a monopoly on their service and ensure payment by force. In a true free society people get to choose how to spend their money without the fear of imprisonment. Instead people are taxed to cover the cost of police salaries, cars, gear and if you choose not to (or can’t afford to) pay those taxes you’re taken from your family and locked in a cage.
The system even hampers those who want to make right on their wrong doings. Meaning if I were to destroy someones property, intentionally or by accident, but wanted to make right with them the state would step in. Even if the victim and I reached an agreement to settle the dispute and/or damages the state could still ticket me for the offense. Therefore not acting in a true free market (or society) setting. Voluntary or free actions are done between people who agree and accept terms of such a deal, without the additional punishment or financial gain of the state. Why should you pay the state $140 for the stolen candy bar if the shop owner is willing to accept $4 (double the cost) for your actions? You do so because if you don’t the police will throw you in jail, again, not a free society.
In conclusion, I’d like you to recall what Joseph stated, “both [rookie and veteran cops] have my respect and deserve yours. Our police are what keep the “free” in “free society.” I was taught as a young child that respect is earned and never given. I have no respect for officers who choose to over look their job description, who allow another officers to physically attacking someone, who participate in as many illegal acts as they write tickets for and who only protect and sever the interest of the state; not the people’s. The only free act done by police officers is when they make the choice to become a police officer. Which is another reason you can spare me from the ‘we deserve respect and added perks” as law enforcement. It was your choice to become a cop, not mine, and police do a better job of keeping the state in Statism than advocating any form of FREEdom.