Law enforcement officers are routinely called upon to perform
miracles and to do the impossible. At the scene of an automobile
accident, they are expected to perform as doctors, paramedics,
and traffic engineers. Responding to a domestic disturbance they
are expected to perform as counselors and therapists, as well
as keepers of the peace. Dealing with juveniles, they are expected
to perform as parents, teachers and sociologists. In the courtroom
they are expected to be lawyers. If they do not perform with excellence
every day, they risk complaints from the public, discipline from
the department, suits from disgruntled defendants, criticism from
the prosecutor and judges, investigations by the news media, and
even death when a life-threatening situation is not handled properly.
They risk their mental health by exposure to the worst our society
has to offer.
You will rarely see a TV Movie of the Week or newspaper headlines about good cops, working with compassion and commitment. In fact, the vast majority
of law enforcement officers are hard-working and dedicated professionals
who are committed to "making a difference." They deserve our respect
and our thanks.