According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Don't Get All Badge Happy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don't Get All Badge Happy

Sam and I read the following quote at Police “No other occupation offers the rewards and excitement of law enforcement – one of the hottest careers around. In addition to a great salary, benefits and job security, you’ll have the satisfaction of protecting people, arresting criminals, and wearing the badge of honor.”

BALONEY! Apparently that LAPD guy who was just hunted down and killed found out what it was really like to be a police officer? I used to be one too (although I didn’t go ballistic). Let me talk you out of becoming a cop if I can.

First, it’s such a “hot” career because cops are retiring in mass numbers, getting out while they can and before their respective employers cut their retirement benefits. Great salary? Is $4,000 a month really enough money to put your life on the line every day you walk out your front door? And what about your wife and kids?

Protect people? If you are a nice person now, you will cease to become one after a few months on the job and adopt the attitude, as they all do (think Seattle P.D.), that it’s you against the world. You’ll mainly be interested in protecting number one.

Arrest criminals? Sure. But you will deal with so many creeps you will soon believe everyone is a creep. And there is a very fine line between being on the side of the law and on the other side. Many, many cops have crossed over. I used to have the right to break the law to enforce the law. Trouble is I joined many of my brother (and sister) state patrol officers in breaking traffic laws whenever I darned well felt like it. Cops are some of the very worst DUI offenders.

Worst of all your heart will harden against people to the point you would throw your own mother in jail for a minor infraction of the law. You will lose former friends, if you had any, because they won’t trust you and you won’t trust them.

If you think wearing a badge (and a gun) will bring you honor, you are barking up the wrong tree. You want honor, become a teacher or a preacher or a social worker or someone who would really do some good. Only put on a uniform if you are interested in boinking badge bunnies because they will be drawn to you like you are carrying carrots in your back pocket. But if that’s why you want to be a cop, shame on you.

Still, if you are jobless the Washington State Patrol is looking for a few good, uh, persons (I almost faux paud there and said men). We can’t call people men or women in this state anymore. The state Senate voted 41-1 recently to get rid of all references to “fireman” and “policeman” in a state law about public employee pensions and replace them with gender-neutral words: firefighter and police officer. The House probably will approve the new law too.

Ironically, according to an article in Fox News, “A 1983 Washington state law already had required all new statutes to be written in gender-neutral terms, so state officials were tasked with going through state statutes dating back to 1854 to revise the rest but that wasn’t good enough for some people.

“As in past bills on the issue that have tackled sections of the state code, some revisions were as simple as adding "or her" after "his." Others required a little more scrutiny. Phrases like "man's past" changes to "humankind's past" and a "prudent man or woman" is simply a "prudent person."

What do you suppose we’ll have to call a she male now, an it it? That’s a toughie.

But I digress. According to the Seattle Times, the State Patrol is having a difficult time finding enough non-gender persons to fill its ranks, which are rapidly being depleted by retirements. The Legislature has authorized the patrol to hire 54 new trooper cadets in the next two years. But the Patrol reports that it’s a significant challenge to find qualified cadet applicants who can pass the physical fitness test (about one-third fail the test of sit-ups, push-ups and running - even a surprising number of people in their 20s), who can pass the written tests (another third of the candidates fail those), who can pass oral interviews and polygraph scrutiny and then, on top of all that pass a background check.

Unfortunately, what the State Patrol and most police agencies are looking for as “qualified” candidates are people who are part canonized saint, Roy Rogers, Mahatma Gandhi, Superman and the Hulk all rolled into one. You only have to keep an eye on the news to realize that even when agencies hire the supposed Six Million Dollar Man (uh, person) he or she is quite possibly going to eventually go astray.

Three bags of poop on you if you don’t believe it. Get a real job.

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