Each time a policeman dies in the line of duty, I’m compelled to post this thread. It was originally written by Paul Harvey (1918-2009). I have modernized it two or three times. The idea was Paul’s, now updated to reflect modern times. At this point, probably 50-50.
He paid tribute to the policeman, I want to personalize as a reminder to honor the fallen. We must make a special effort to support our policeman.
New Orleans Officer Marcus McNeil, 29, was ambushed as he got out of his patrol car, Gunned down in the street, 3 other officers managed to catch the killer after a 3 hour standoff. He joined the force in 2014. He was married and leaves two children behind, ages 2 & 5. Officer McNeil epitomizes everything good about America.
A Policeman is a combination of saint, sinner, protector, enemy, friend, and foe. He is expected to protect property, enforce the law and maintain order.
Officers must respect the rights of all citizens, take verbal abuse while keeping a level head in the most dangerous situations armed only with his pistol and badge.
He is outgunned, outmanned and out planned. Ambushed and hunted, abused and hated, he is most needed and most unwanted. Sir to his face and fuzz to his back. He is a diplomat that must settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.
Police officers are required to work long hours, changing shifts, nights, weekends, and holidays. Duty first, family last. His life is on the line. When he leaves his wife and children, he may never come home.
Life expectancy is 15 years less than his statistical brother. He is 21 times more likely to lose his life than Mr. Average Citizen.
Media sensationalizes instances of dishonesty and brutality. Incidents are exceptional, unusual, and infrequent. Fact: Less than .00025% of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy!
If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s rumpled, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting; if not, he’s a grouch. If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy.
A video makes him an instant hero or a felon. Law enforcement has become politicized. He must make an instant decision which takes months for courts, lawyers, and juries to determine guilt or innocence.
If he’s convicted he’s DOA if he’s innocent, 25% hate him. Either way, PTSD is commonplace.
He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp.
Or expect to be sued.
The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run while carrying 40# of equipment, and hit where it isn’t fatal. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.
Resistance brings cries of brutality. He must take unthinkable abuse and stand there stoically, never flinching and or showing emotion.
Cops are buried in bureaucracy, just the way the NRA wants it.
A policeman must know everything and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.
A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon, and the criminal, and tell you where the criminal is hiding. If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s incompetent.
If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen but refused to remember.
The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.
And, of course, he’d have to be genius….For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.
PAUL HARVEY 1974