Defend the police


Artwork by Natalie Merhib

In recent years, polices officers have been on the end of a negative stereotype.

Since I was a young girl I’ve dreamed of being a police officer. No specific moment sparked this interest of mine, simply just the general knowledge that their job description is to help people. In the past few years however, I’ve noticed that the general knowledge of the roles of police officers in society has shifted from the role of protectors, to “pigs”.

Police officers are the protectors of our communities, no matter the population size or the peoples. They respond to calls of help and run towards dangers so that others have the opportunity to run to safety. They put their lives on the line for people they don’t know, and that in itself deserves some support.

To become a police officer, they have to take a vow. This vow makes them state that they will not betray their integrity, character or public trust. It makes them vow to hold themselves and others accountable for their actions, while maintaining the highest ethical standards and upholding the value of their community. In taking this vow, the officers are dedicating their entire careers to the protection of others. Sometimes there’s decisions to be made and sometimes, in a split second, a wrong decision can be made. 

No line of employment is perfect. There will be bad cops, just as there would be bad teachers or bad waitresses or bad lawyers. There’s always the possibility of a police officer making a grave mistake, but the risk of messing up or making a decision people might not support is part of their job description. Yes, there are bad cops, but there are also great cops. 

Imagine a world without cops. How would that look? Without cops there would be no one to answer if someone gets in an accident. No one to help if someone’s family member was killed. No one to answer if your house is broken into. Without police officers, people would be helpless from bad people that now have the capability to commit these crimes and more.

Without police officers who would stop them?

Surely people remember the name Derek Chauvin associated with George Floyd, but do they remember Jason Riverea, who was shot and killed in a domestic dispute? Or Sergeant Babara Majors Fenley, who died in a fire while helping residents evacuate? There are thousands of forgotten cops who have given their lives in order to protect their community, and they are being pooled in the same group as bad cops.

Instead of generalizing all police officers as “pigs” or corrupt, recognize the bad cops and talk to the officers department about your concerns. The majority of cops are good and do everything to protect their community. Thank your local officers for their service. Remember their job is to protect you. 

Hearing all the slander on police officers hasn’t changed my desire to help people and protect my community. I have been called names for mentioning that someday I want to be a police officer. I hope other people who’d like to be police officers will be met with a smile rather than an unkind word. I hope the new generations of police officers will succeed in changing the stigma that is currently pitted against the police force.