I sit here today reflecting on the current situation our country is faced with and I am having a hard time grasping everything in front of us….
The mantra of “defund the Police” is quite troublesome, as this is a result of a gross inhumane action of ONE police officer. As I sit here and write this, I want to state for the record that all cops who serve with prejudice and self-serving behavior DO NOT deserve the honor of the badge. Those individuals are a disgrace to all of us law enforcement officers who have served in the past and present. As a former police officer, it is difficult for me to see how the public views law enforcement when I experienced first-hand what it was like to serve and protect the public.
One must remember, a police officer is to serve with sacrifice….
Let that sink in for a moment…
We sacrifice everything to serve the public!
Before founding S&B Watches® I served 17 years in the field as a Police Officer. My undergraduate studies was in Law Enforcement and Justice Administrations. When I first joined the forces in 1996, I only made $847.00 every 2 weeks. As you can see, I did not become a Police Officer for the money, but I became one for the love of the job! At one point in time I told my agency if I had no issues about living expenses and student loans that I would do this job for free! They chuckled and said in due time you will take that statement back…. I did take that back, due to them, but not due to the people I served in society.
I sit and look around this country bewildered at what is going on and I look at what we are facing as a country. We have some bad cops, YES, WE DO…. Like any field of work, there are bad employees and that is reality. When an agency keeps this type of officer on the force it makes it hard on all who serve the people day in and day out and this is not right.
The separation and hatred we have from public to police brings tears to my eyes as we have worked so hard to bring us closer together, even if the public does not see this. For those of you that do see this, thank you.
Do we need reform? Yes, we need Administrative and Political reform… The Admin who keep them and the politicians who allow those to keep them. We see Mayors inactions to overreaction. We see Police administrators inaction and over reaction. Everyone is on edge as they will upset someone and they don’t want that.
There will be people upset, true. There will people happy, true. A decision will make this outcome right, but do not pander to the side making the most noise. What happened to thoughtful directed discussion and change? Not tearing the world apart knee jerk change, but a foundational change!
Those who risk their lives and give everything are the ones hurting. Those citizens who have to deal with the neglect are the ones hurting. There is a tremendous amount of pain on both sides and we all need to realize this and work together!
I stand with my brothers and sisters who wear the badge with honor every day. I stand with the citizens of this country that we swore to protect every day. We need to look back on how we came down this path and why we are here. This is a long road that I saw coming back in 2001, as a result of this, I left full time service.
Law enforcement was just one of the many jobs we took on when we swore to protect the public every day. Our daily jobs as a Police Officer is to be counselors, parents, big brothers/ sisters, mediators, mental health experts, fighters, investigators, and judges of situations with seconds to decide, not formulation judges…
Please take a look at what we do for the public as many neglect to look at this. Bear in mind, the first level of the use of force is merely our presence. You have put us in many places you do not wish to, as our presence is used for your deterrent. Everyone has a knee jerk reaction, “call the police”. When we arrive, we are to sort and solve every situation in a 15-30 min episode. How do you think we are not judged?
We are to uphold the laws at which we took an oath to uphold? That’s where we have a problem…. We are the bad guys for the politician's laws? While there is a great deal of discretion on how we deal with matters, inaction leaves us liable. PROPER action is desired, but improper handling and reaction is where we are now. Agencies know very well if there is a problematic officer. Having been a field training instructor like myself, you know when you have a problematic officer. If there is problematic handling of a situation, it's in the training and this can be corrected.
I need to be really honest here….
Those who wear the badge are the most amazing and talented individuals I know! Can you imagine to do the number of things these individuals do in a given shift knowing the hatred the public eye has towards them? They can go from saving a child, to a bike theft, then to a shooting, then handle a neighbor dispute over loud music, then end the night with a fight. You must face all of this on a shift to then go home to your family and smile as another day of work is done and you are thankful to make it home safely to your family. That is not normal, but that is what those who protect and serve our communities deal with on a daily basis. We handle all of society's problems, as it is just another day in the office for a Police Officer.
Do you want to see change? Then Change the way you hire, change the way you govern, change the way you train. Do not take away the tools needed to do the job right! Most definitely do not take away the humanity of the job!
This job is not personal, if someone is yelling and screaming at you it’s the badge they are taking their frustration out on, not you, do not forget this brothers and sisters! They don’t know you, they only know what the badge has done before.
Lead by example and remember the positive impact you have on our society brothers and sisters!
Jerommie Smith, Founder of S&B Watches