Do Your Job……Or Leave

Law enforcement officers, while on a call or a stop, do your job and survive the encounter.

Or Leave.

It is really that simple.

On the morning of October 5, 2016, a 17-year Chicago police veteran, was brutally assaulted by a man, allegedly high on PCP after while investigating a traffic crash in Chicago’s West side Austin community.  Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the following at a police and fire department awards ceremony “As I was at the hospital last night, visiting with her, she looked at me and said she thought she was gonna die, and she knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news.”

This incident’s outcome is simply unacceptable.

It is tough time for law enforcement.  The above incident is being coined by some law enforcement professionals as, “The Ferguson Effect”, eluding to the lawlessness of the protestors and the political submission to the angry masses during the aftermath of the August 9, 2014 officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Adding to the flames of Ferguson was the aftermath of Chicago’s October 20, 2014 officer-involved shooting of LaQuan McDonald and other past police use-of-force incidents that sparked media-exacerbated, fact-ignoring protesting actions spawning a law enforcement response.

As a former veteran police officer and current law enforcement/security trainer, I am a staunch advocate for both the community and law enforcement. However, the hardest admission to make for some, while being the truth overall, is that reform is needed for both the community and law enforcement. While law enforcement agencies have made strides toward reform, the call for community reform and the much-needed conversation to that end is all but existent in the vernacular of today’s modern social “re”-activists.

Furthermore, the need for reform is not applicable to every police department or community and the level of reform needed may also vary from amongst those cohorts aforementioned. Notwithstanding these facts, I am not an advocate of law enforcement officers sacrificing themselves to avoid vilification by the media and/or the law enforcement agency administration.

Law enforcement officers, serve the public by treating all with respect by being firm, fair, friendly, and consistent.

For me, this has worked approximately 90% of the time. But, never should we ever, see the day where a law enforcement officer yields their safety to a subject/suspect in a police-involved incident to appease the sentiments of the uneducated media/public or the current/future political aspirations of the law enforcement brass or the politicians who control them.

You were hired to perform a job many cannot or will not do.

While the manner in which you are deployed may vary for different reasons you should never forget the oath you made to the public.

Never forget the oath you made to your families to come home.

Never forget the oath you made to yourself: to stay alive.

Do the job and see it through or leave.

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  1. ahaz

    Are you promoting that police officers aren’t doing their jobs unless they’re killing someone? There, my friend is the difference between US policing and the policing that occurs in other major westernized nations. Our officers have dehumanized the citizens to the point where the citizens life doesn’t matter. Everyone has an obligation to their families, but an officer doesn’t take an oath to come home at night, they take an oath to defend the public, enforce our laws and protect our rights. Whereas a U.K. Officer, German officer truly uses deadly force as the last resort. Mike Brown needs to go home and stay there. He is part of the cancer that has destroyed the trust between police and our citizens.

    • gordo911

      Your response is not even close to what Mike Brown is talking about. WE IN THE USA ARE NOT EUROPE!!!!! Stop making that stupid comparison. He is talking about an officer, who did not react to direct threat to her life and safety, and nearly died because she failed to use the force she was not only allowed to use, but required to use, as other other officers were injured as a result. The officer’s job and oath is not to become a victim for failing to do their job. The suspect in this case MADE his choice, but because of the media, the officer was nearly killed for failing to make hers. I am glad she survived, but your response is out-of-line, uneducated, and misinformed.

      • ahaz

        It’s hardly a stupid comparison at all. Even after you normalize for gun violence, US police are more violent that their European counterparts. The reason is real accountability, better training and less discretion given to individual officers to exercise deadly force. Just look at how our police handle edged weapons, sticks, rocks compared to that of UK and Scottish police. They handle these types of incident without resorting to deadly force, whereas any of the aforementioned can get you killed here. Fortunately several agencies have been trying to incorporate some of their techniques and training here to reduce the amount of death attributed to these types of weapons. Perhaps you should read some of the PERF reports on police violence.

    • Law Officer

      We’ve tolerated you and sometimes we respect you for your opinion but this is way out of bounds…even for you.

      • ahaz

        As do I respect the words reasoned well thought out arguments. What this writer appears to be promoting is the use of deadly force. He states that the first rule of policing is paramount above all others, even the oath to protect the public. I served in the military and my oath to protect and defend the constitution didn’t have an exception. My comments sound harsh because they need to be. There is a disconnect in the way that many of our police departments do their jobs and society in general. It isn’t because the public, media or politicians are misinformed. It because the standards in which deadly force is utilized has gone awry. The public sees some of these video and legitimately see that another option could have been taken. It doesn’t mean that I or the public wants to see an officer injured or god forbid killed. We want deadly force to be the last option and if LE agencies cannot or are unwilling to reform their, then it’s time that we remove the discretion that individual officers have when exercising deadly force. One of your brothers in blue recalled an encounter on facebook about a traffic interaction for a texting while driving stop he had with a young African American. The young man was terrified of this officer. That officer was saddened by this young mans reaction, as he should be. The trust and respect has been eroded. I want that trust back. Im personally tired of the burden of making sure I do every last thing right at a traffic stop in order to make the cop feel safe to protect myself. He should be making me feel safe. I want to feel that I don’t have to record every interaction with a police officer because he is there to help me or that I have to protect myself against profiling or pretext stops or a made up excuse to search my vehicle. I want our officers to be part of the community and be a trusted partner. When I see article like this and when it reinforces behavior that is dangerous to the community and further erodes the trust that has to be present, I have to speak out. I do appreciate the fact that this site has the courage to listen to oppposing views.

        • mikewilliams121

          I was wondering why is it just the police that have to reform? If it is truly a community effort, then why are people continually breaking laws then claiming victimization. You claim that “other countries” are doing it better? Well look at the social make up of them compared to the US. Things change drastically. Police work is diverse as it gets. When everyone can agree the world will be a better place. No true victim I have ever saw claimed the police were only to blame and no one else. Looking at one aspect of the problem and saying its the only reason the problem continues is absurd. Clearly people don’t want to get pulled over, arrested, hurt, or even killed, nor does any officer want the same thing. When a law is broken the person must accept responsibility as well as the officer performing their job. Treating people with disrespect while doing their job is not an officer. Treating an Officer with disrespect is no better!

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