Essay: I am offended by the treatment of the policing profession

Barbara A. Schwartz

I am offended.

I’m offended that my being offended doesn’t matter and that offends me even more.

I’m offended that those calling police officers prejudicial, and accusing law enforcement of racial profiling, are doing the same thing in reverse. Even worse, they don’t come close to recognizing that they are prejudicial and profiling; and they are not being taken to task for it.

I am offended that the actions of a few officers have tainted the entire profession.

Isn’t that profiling? Isn’t that prejudice?

The politicians, talking heads, and activists’ outcry for police reform is a reaction to the bad judgment and bad actions of a few officers.

Yet all officers are bearing the brunt of the controversy.

Policies and procedures governing policing have to change!! Police need more training!!

I’m offended by those assumptions.

Those who are striking out against law enforcement need their policies and procedures revamped. They need more training. They need to understand what being a police officer in the United States means and understand what confronting threats on a daily basis in the course of one’s work day entails.

Officers have the right to want to go home safe and sound at the end of their work day.

Summits, conferences, and task forces have been convened from across this nation, from state to state, even from the White House to analyze what’s wrong with policing.

Where are the summits, conferences, and task forces analyzing why people hate cops?

My point: Don’t lump all cops into the bucket of hate, profiling, racism, and prejudice.

My plea: Don’t protest the actions of a few and not laud the actions of the many officers who risk, and have given, their lives in the line of duty and perform heroically on a daily basis.

Don’t do what you are accusing officers of doing.

Playing nice goes both ways.

Recognize that the actions of a few should not taint the ranks of all law enforcement officers across this country.

Let us stop and take stock of the real issue–crime and violence. Let us put our time and energy into solving those problems.

Not to mention the lack of an adequate mental health care system that leaves most of the responsibility in the laps of law enforcement officers and jails.

When we tackle those problems collectively as Americans, then I won’t be offended anymore.

Just don’t point the finger at law enforcement and profile all officers as needing remedial training and stricter anti-profiling laws.

The majority of officers are out there protecting and serving, performing their jobs, justly.

Let’s not forget that.

I have a dream. I dream of the day I won’t be offended anymore. And neither will you.