Alex Teach Image
I get why we wear boots. The leather is something that can be polished and looks good with a uniform and we encounter a great many different environments and terrains while also trying to appear professional.
The uniform itself is, though many do not realize it, a level of force; our very presence counts because of the fading idea of how a “reasonable person” reacts to the presence of lawful authority. (You and I know that they now react with disdain and disregard, but once upon a time, The Courts assumed people were not self-righteous idiots. That went out the window with rotary phones and Barry Goldwater, but it’s still on the books that way at least.)
Me personally? I agree with the professional appearance, but they need to be running shoes. I don’t need ankle support; I need some light-ass shoes for chasing folk when the need arises. Some officers run like a scalded deer in them, but Officer Teach is NOT one of these officers.
They are heavy. Flat footed. Cumbersome. I feel like I’m running with scuba fins on, and look equally graceful. In short? Boots blow.
Because of this, I use the car to its fullest extent. If you run, I strongly suggest you do so between a narrow row of houses or trees; fixed objects, specifically. Fences are not an issue depending on the circumstances, because as certain dismayed members of the Shepherd Community will attest, you can wrap a chain link fence around a rear axle like a fruit roll-up and keep on trucking (for a while, anyway). TVA can attest that those two inch swing-gate poles that block utility access trails are only as strong as the padlock holding them shut. And the City Attorney’s that wrote a few checks out can back me up too.
Throttle back the dismay, now; these events occurred after very prolonged foot and car chases of very bad people but they still happened and I can’t help but think the boots factored into this…particularly when the person being chased was no longer in a car, but on foot.
Cops (or at least this one) want a customer to be as tired as possible when it comes time to actually put asses in irons, and you can tell a veteran from a rookie fairly quickly when you see someone jump out of a squad car to give chase on foot, rather than put that cruiser in Drive and pull right around that stopped vehicle Mr. John Q. Turd has just bolted from. The veteran uses his or her car to its fullest extent rather than leave it parked uselessly (and with your “stuff” inside now exposed to the world).
That police car is a tool; use it! And the closer it gets us to our target, the fewer flat-slapping steps I have to take in those multi-pound Rockies / Danner’s / 5.11’s, and the fresher I will be to do battle, and bring great justice. The closer I will be to help this confused and/or angry customer with the other end of my body, that great universal translator when common English (and sense) is not enough: My hands.
Oh, I’ve bucked the system: I’ve brought out the leather (or “leather-ish”) athletic shoes…but it never lasts. Because the boots are the way it’s always been done, and no other reason is needed to argue the subject. Police motto’s are the same from coast to coast and border to border: “Why change, when I don’t have to let you?” (That’s actually what some of that Latin shit on the cruiser door translates to in a few bold towns. They knew people can easily translate with “the Google” now, but ironically…they refuse to change this practice.)
Run. Run from me on foot, run your hearts out, but beware that sound of flat-footed thunder behind you if you do, and everything those deliriously annoyed steps are bringing with them. Because I will be half as tired, and twice as annoyed.
(Well…for a little while, anyway.)