This past week I was fortunate to spend an evening with some of the finest and most honorable people I’ve ever known, Police Officers. More specifically, with two friends who put in 26 years of service to a City that had at one time was the highest or nearly the highest murder capital in America, some of the most violent areas and gangs and is now a hot spot for rioters hell bent on disrupting society.
As I caught up with folks I hadn’t seen in a while I thought, “The media and the public never see this.”. By “this”, I mean a room full of people who make decisions based on right and wrong, that was full of Brothers and Sisters that are Black, White, Asian, who have different religious beliefs and who are bound by the oath they swore to the citizens of the locality they put their lives on the line for every shift.
In my latest “Thoughts from the Road” style episode, ‘PPP44: We Shouldn’t Judge What We Don’t Understand‘, I share a bit more insight into the event and examples of some of the types of situations Police Officers are put into everyday, like this one that I was on with Police.
It’s very hot, a motel owner calls for a “welfare check” on someone who has not come out of their room for a while. Police arrive first, always first so they can secure the scene for Fire and EMS. We arrive and the smell of death hits our nose well before we go inside the room. Our job is to verify death. This individual had committed suicide and had been there for a while. It was not pretty. Now imagine the call went a little differently. Police knock, then “BOOM!!”, shots ring out or come through the door at them. The variables are endless. Yet, Police report for duty every day.
Why is it important to have some level of insight to one call type Police go to thousands of times? Because we now have civilians and the general public judging Policing overall based on the actions of a very few. I submit to anyone who is going to vote or be part of Police oversight or policy change to take a ride along with Police or Fire or EMS. Get a picture of what really happens on the street. Get the smallest glimpse of the stressors faced by Police, and Public Safety as a whole, and then think of trying not to be affected after years of that work.
Instead of defunding the Police (which is ridiculous IMHO), we need to provide more funding. More time and money for annual mental health checks, more time and money to maintain physical fitness standards and more time and money to arrange meaningful discussions with the communities the Police keep safe.
As I stated in ‘People, Process, Progress‘ episode 43, do your own research. Learn what the real Police statistics say, both civilian deaths and Police deaths. Spoiler, it’s not what you hear on the news or from some groups that paint the Police as “murder squads”. I also recommend listening to ‘The Joe Rogan Experience #1517” with Nancy Panza, Ph.D, is a Professor of Psychology at Cal State Fullerton who works closely with Law Enforcement and helps them cope with the stressors of the job.
I’m proud to have many friends that are Police Officers and eternally thankful for them having kept me safe on dangerous scenes with them and for keeping evil at bay across our society. Thank you all for listening, sharing and subscribing to the podcast and this blog.
Kevin Pannell, PMP Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ Connect and subscribe at https://linktr.ee/peopleprocessprogress.
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