Why I’ll Never Be A Cop Again.

So, at the risk of receiving hate-mail from all of my Chronic-addicted subscribers, I’m coming out of the closet. It’s time that all of the haters know that I was a police officer for eight years in the socialist utopia known as Bangor Maine. While patrolling the streets of said Shangri-La, I saw things that changed me forever—almost all of them bad. Still, I’m glad that I saw them because these things gave me a perspective that I could never have gained in a classroom. Theory got steamrolled by reality.
Many parts of the job were stressful, frustrating and demanding. Nothing disappointed me more then the feeling of alienation, the bare hatred directed at police officers and the jokes that complete strangers felt free to make me the butt of. At the end, my will to do the whole thing lay broken. I was enforcing laws for people that didn’t want me to, unless of course they happened to be a victim; then there was a shrill demand for satisfaction.
Things got so bad that I would go into restaurants and overhear conversations that involved expletives and police officers that I knew. Usually, I walked out. The usual stories that I’d heard a million times: “The cop pulled me over, and I wasn’t even drunk!” or “The cops don’t do anything, they just ride around; you’re tax dollars at work.” I’d ponder how I’d managed to do nothing while at times working 16 hour shifts and 50, 60, sometimes 70 hours a week.
When I try to explain how often this occurs and the debilitating effect it can have on police officers, I’m usually met with blank stares. I’m always met with the question: “How did you like that job?” My answer: “I didn’t.” Again, a look of disappointment.
The reality of it all didn’t seem to sink in with many friends until they happened to be around a few times when the phenomena occurred. Now that I’m done with it, I never freely volunteer what I did for a living. As Jesus said: “Cast not your pearls before swine.”
It continues though, even after almost a year of being done. Examples:
Two weeks ago, I went out to dinner with a long-time friend and three of his associates/friends. I’d never met these people before. One of his friends asked me what I did for a living, and I told her that I used to be a police officer. She of course asked why I’d left the job, and I retorted that it was too negative. She agreed with me and I give her credit for not launching into a bad-cop story. The other female however, couldn’t help herself. “Most cops I’ve encountered were complete assholes,” she said. I looked at her and said, “I want a job where people don’t talk about me like that.” I had only met this lady that day. I wanted to ask her on how many occasions she had encountered the police, seeing how she could not have been more than 25 years old.
Then, yesterday, while I was getting my haircut, the stylist asks me what I had done for a living in Maine. I told her and then explained that I was attempting to starve myself to death as a writer and seemed to have been more successful at the starving part then in any endeavor I’d before embarked on.

Stylist: Why’d you leave the Po-Po?

Me: Because, like you, nobody likes them.

Stylist: Oh no. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve met some great police officers, but I’ve also met some that I’d like to shoot with their own gun. (Yes, she really said that, while laughing.)

Me: (Eying the set of gleaming shears that slashed the locks away from my neck.) Umm, yea.

Stylist: So, do you have a girlfriend?

Me: (Nervously regarding my sub-clavicular notch for laceration.) I’ve dated some.

So that’s why, despite my recent pondering of doing the whole damn thing again, I won’t be part of the Thin Blue Line. You can never go back.

2 Responses to “Why I’ll Never Be A Cop Again.”

  1. 1 devaughn
    August 24, 2007 at 6:07 am

    Never again…and I quote “Do not lose, ever, your faith in the rightness of your work,…” The war on the streets that you fought were and still are, as important as the war in Iraq. There are always a few who have the comments that makes someone wonder “Why?” This wasn’t a job to be popular, it was one to protect. It is not one that just anyone can do, it takes someone who cares, such as yourself. You have made a difference on the street and now your words still make a difference. For those you did help remember, they get to see another day because of you. Don’t ever lose faith in the rightness of your work, my friend.

  2. 2 Douglas Moore
    August 24, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    The problem s that in both circumstances, it’s Americans complaining. The Iraqi’s aren’t complaining that we’re there. They don’t want to be be blown to bits by a guy with a bomb-vest and a hatred of this life. No, it’s well-to-do-Americans, in particular our bourgeois Hollywood types that complain. Any people in the world would be happy to have American police officers–except our country–which apparently has had it too good for too long.

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