Friday, March 27, 2009

The Police

MW made a comment a while ago. She said that I did not attain a certain kind of wisdom until I had been involved with law enforcement for a while. You should take that as my being on the enforcing the law side, rather than on the being enforced side. I have strong feelings on this subject. What I am about to tell you is kept generic for a reason. When I say “police” I mean all aspects of law enforcement that deals with the public first-hand.

You may not have guessed, but I am somewhat of a writer. I have published a lot of material that related my experiences. All that was under my real name. That is why I don’t want to get explicit about the subject. But that still leaves a fair amount of latitude to say what I want.

Some people have hatred toward the police. Where I grew up, it was justified, just as some of you may feel. But I doubt that anyone reading this blog is from such environment. Mine was different, and I will not elaborate on it, for the purpose of keeping my identity private. I assure you, I was not one of the “inner city” denizens, yet, the police, in my mind, was the enemy.

I warn you to ignore the crap that you see on television and in the movies. As a start, they are fiction. They may be based on reality at best. They are mostly sensationalized and eroticized fluff just to make entertainment. Some of those “On the Street” shows where you are watching real time are realistic, so that is not what I am disparaging here.

If you are still with me, we may be in three camps. Those of you, who have had only the bad experience of being stuffed into the back of a police car, may think that our police are bad. You may think that they just “serve the Man” and that they could die and you would be better off. I would not try to change your mind. You will do so yourself as a result of age. Most people accumulate some wisdom by a certain age in their life.

The second camp contains those who had been in some dire circumstance from which the police bailed them out. At that point you realize that there are some dedicated and brave people who will serve the deserving and undeserving without expecting compensation. This realization is rare, but it happens. And after that, you might forget it until the next time you need the police to rescue you.

This leaves some folks who are either in law enforcement, are married into it, or have a close relative who is in it. These people are different. Until you have a loved one who dies as a result of some lowlife’s joy ride, you can’t really appreciate the pain. If you have a son, daughter, husband, or wife who goes out every day jeopardizing his life for the rest of us you know that they are people just like us.

Consider that most of us don’t want to get into a fistfight with a thug. We don’t want to have a shootout with robbers, anarchists, terrorists, and the like. We don’t want to deal with a mugger, or even with a loudmouth ignorant person who insists that his or her way is right, and you are an ass. That is where the police come in. They handle your problem.

The police are manned (or womaned) by people just like you and I. But they are exceptional people who will do things that most of us are incapable or unwilling to do. What they have is what we lack in general.


They are willing to go through rigorous training for a long time. This training eliminates those who are not capable or dedicated enough. Physical and mental conditioning becomes a way of life.


Few of us want to be called at any hour of the day to attend a situation where we could be killed. Yet the police will go with that. They know the risks and the annoyances. They don’t like to be awakened from sleep and put on a uniform to go to a hostage situation, but they will do it. They don’t want to get between a citizen and the gunman in a shootout, but they will do it. They don’t want to see the gore in a high-speed crash and deal with the relatives of the dead victim, but it is part of the job.


The job is rewarding, but it is also stressful. I will not talk of the thrill here, although I admit that it is addictive. It is the stress part that becomes devastating over time. It destroys one’s life. It destroys one’s family. Alcoholism is common, and may lead to drugs and crime. No man or woman is immune to the false and momentary relaxation that these drugs offer. Suicide is common.

Once in law enforcement, a person gives up a number of things. The pay is not commensurate with the sacrifice and the effort. Family life is uncertain due to unscheduled events. Insurance against liability to civil suits, and life become expensive. Continuous and rigorous training are necessary. Always being on duty adds more stress, and tends to jeopardize people around the person. Competition and advancing in the ranks is essential, but it transcends the general idea. Say, if you work at Walmart, you don’t have to be a better shot or a super negotiator in a hostage situation to get a promotion. If you are police, you do.

A weapon is a great equalizer. A 150-pound man, whom I would call of slight build, can be subdued by a trained police person. With a weapon in the person’s hand the situation escalates. The slim misfit with a two-by-four coming at me is deadly. Any man or woman with a knife can cover a few feet in a second before I realize that I need to step out of the way. Then there are drug-induced anesthesias. A person affected by certain drugs feel no pain. Even being shot, cut, slashed, hit with blunt instruments have no effect on them. They will go on with a broken leg. If they come at me, only a totally deadly force will stop them. Even though I would be cleared of criminal wrongdoing since I had to protect myself, there is the inevitable civil suit following, for which I have to pay lawyers to defend myself.

After a while I no longer throw up seeing a mangled body. I still feel protective of women and children, but I tend to be hardened against lies and rhetoric by assumed criminals. I go to court to give evidence, and try not to take sides. I try to go back to work with a clear mind and conscience. But all that comes with a price. I know what is going on, and I try to filter the feelings that would incapacitate me. My family is still precious, but even with them I need to maintain a distance. I have a different standard for dealing with them as opposed to dealing with public. Stress is a way of life forever. I am changed, just like the warriors who return from wars.


doll said...

Master has told me of a previous sub he had that earned a living as a Domme. Aparently all her clientele came from the police force. Perhaps there is a great need for the boundaries and security of submission when the large part of everyday life is one of responsibility and chaos.

Susan's Pet said...

I have heard that about judges ...

I am sure a lot of that goes on among the police. We kid one another mercilessly whenever we take a few minutes off over a meal. But nobody would admit to being submissive or seeing a professional, except in a joking manner. All of this is a form of stress relief.

What I say applies to male and female officers. If one is single, and would see a professional for whatever reason, he would admit that he can't get a woman otherwise. A married person would also be considered a failure if he or she went outside the marriage to seek this sort of help. So, there are secrets and few are ready to be outed.

Then there is the fact that we are held to a high standard, and can lose a job and certification over what would be trivial for anyone else. Alas, this has happened more than once to good people whom I know.

helpmate hubby said...

I think your post was very insightful and my expereince and beliefs are exactly the same. Good idea for a post!