Officer Alex explains why he is the way he is
So I was brought up in the generation that saw the end of the Cold War (“Google” it, it kept my ol’man busy for 40 years or so and has some interesting highlights) and pre-Columbine High School (“Google” it, it has some interesting highlights as well and that era sure as hell kept me busy too…though with slightly longer periods of “Not Having To Worry About Dying In My Sleep Every Holy-Hell Bug Infested Night”). Not a lost generation by any means, but definitely one of some fairly interesting transitional periods.
I studied history like anyone else, but I knew the lessons of the Battle of Thermopylae before it was a really cool graphics-intensive movie.
I knew that John F. Kennedy was a blazing hero and martyr, but I also knew about what real soldiers on the scene thought of his actions at the Bay of Pigs and how they thought he should die a slow death at the bottom of a prison septic tank.
Hey, it worked out all right for planet Earth, but those that heard the screams of dying men denied the air support they waged their lives against had a differing opinion.
I knew that not working hard had a direct impact on how crappy your quality of life could be, versus expecting a great quality of life for an entry level job you “expected” to be granted so long as you could also only work “when you felt like it, as hard as you felt like” as they are attempting to legislate now.
Again, I was born during a strange time.
But I also know that I should not have the job that I do based on the assumptions of some outside of it, as well as those within.
Warriors. That’s what I was told I was, or should aspire to be. That my career was based on those with shields who protected citizens at all costs, without equipment or legal aid as hard as that may be to believe. That I was a Soldier. And I believed it. Why not?
Uniform, deadly weapons, fiery chariots and long-gun spears…and a mandate from the state itself? Why would I believe otherwise? And so, I was a Warrior.
But as time unfolded, I noticed an empty space inside where something was missing, something wasn’t being fulfilled. I defended people, yes. I was hurt in the process of defending people, yes. I saw and did things that would haunt me forever, yes…and I indeed felt like a warrior when I did some of those things that involved the cracking of bones and the tearing of sinew.
But the other ninety percent of the time I wasn’t doing, witnessing or partaking in something that was considered “horrible” by the average citizen? Something was off. And it wasn’t until I was nearly two-thirds into my career that I figured out just what it was.
I wasn’t a Warrior. I was a Peacekeeper.
Are they one in the same? Potentially, but a warrior is not an expert in such. A peacekeeper is different from a soldier, a peacekeeper has a different set of tools in his or her utility belt.
A peacekeeper doesn’t see each battle as the final one, as the last stop for resolution (agreed or otherwise); a peacekeeper means just that: One who strives for balance, not necessarily victory.
One who seeks an amicable parting, not defeat.
One who seeks resolution, not subjugation.
Disagree with the above all you want (as a cop or a citizen), but I have to say you don’t need or want a warrior when your neighbor has a tree laying down on your side of the yard, or you have been the one singled out for speeding in a long line of fast-moving traffic. It’s not a war...it’s just an ordinance, guys (and gals).
Have a plan to deal with such, but everyone is not trying to kill you. Which is such a difficult myth to debunk. You are there to serve, but with caution. With expertise. And dare I say…with professionalism.
In police work, once your customer is the enemy, so are you (the police). That is the evolution I have come around to, and writing such puts me in defiance of the current methods making me the Worst Cop Ever by those warrior standards, but I have to tell you…it’s worth the risk to consider such if you’re on the job at the moment.
Yes, it’s risky. Yes, you’re in danger. But…it’s not a war. These are citizens and you’re their shield, not their overseers or their generals.
Just a thought from an old keeper of the peace; dissect it as you will.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.