What do you call a brand new baseball player? A rookie.
What do you call a brand new recruit to a new business? A rookie.
What do you call a brand new cop? A roo…NOT SO FAST!!!
Surely a police officer that is subjected to all sorts of derogatory statements and push back from criminals and other ignorant factions that stand against law and order is able to handle the fact they are new to a job and that rookie is an actual description of their job experience or status, right? Well, not everyone agrees, that’s for sure.
In an ever increasing kneeling to the gods of political correctness and false-perceptions, some police departments are actually changing policies. One department, that for now shall remain nameless, has actually enacted a policy that prohibits officers from ever being referred to as “rookies,” “boots,” or any other similar term. What was once a right of passage acclimating recruits to their new career is now “offensive.” At this particular department a rookie was bothered by the term and so now it is considered hazing.
I truly believe this dark cloud of political pressure will continue to follow law enforcement agencies around and that it will become worse before it gets better. Community members will be left wondering why the caliber of officers they encounter continues to decline in what is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy that has been coming true, in no small part, since the complete and utter fabrications that came out of the context of the Michael Brown shooting and found even our elected officials perpetuating outright lies as truth.
What do I mean by self-fulfilling prophecy? Well, when you consistently are bombarded with the message of: All cops are bastards, cops are racist, cops are in it for the money, cops are corrupt, there are no good cops, etc. eventually you’ll get what you want because the good ones decide that dealing with your problems, your deceased, your criminals, isn’t worth a barely livable wage and shitty pension, if a pension is even an option. They will leave for greener pastures, whether in law enforcement or a new career, because at some point: it’s just not worth it to them.
But to those who are supporting the shift to a “softer” police officer, please consider what that means: you are expecting them to do your dirty work of dealing with all the situations and people you want to be protected from or not bothered by while simultaneously attacking them from behind. You want to take away all the tools, physical – mental – emotional, and then condemn them for not “doing their job” as you envision from ignorance how it should be done.
You see, keeping peace requires a particular mindset and willingness to do what others won’t. If you want soft officers, you’ll get soft results and it’s something I think many are going to regret.