Greetings from the Pacific Northwest,
Recently, a coffee shop in the Northeast part of Portland, Oregon asked a police officer to leave their establishment. This has caused a shitstorm from the conservatives here in Portland. I for one, think that this coffee shop did the right thing by asking this cop to leave. I don't necessarily agree with the reasons why this cafe did what it did. But, what ever happened to businesses having the right to refuse service to anyone? I, am not a big fan of Law Enforcement in Oregon or in California, but unfortunately, they're a necessary evil.
What does need to happen though, is that California POST Commission, and Oregon's DPSST need to a favour for their communities by setting even higher standards for peace officer training. Take for example, it should be mandatory that law enforcement candidates should be veterans of the Armed Forces. Why? Because, the military has a tendency to temper even the most arrogant of men or women. Humility should be high within the law enforcement community. I say this because I was at one time, a reserve Sheriff's Deputy with the San Bernardino Co Sheriff's Department 20 years ago. It taught me a lot about how petty men and women in law enforcement can be. How they have the tendency to ignore their oath of office, and focus upon selfish needs.
My friend, Dave Blaylock, will hate me for saying this, but I feel that most cops (the military veterans can be forgiven...) are in it for the wrong reasons. Most are in it for the job stability. For the most part, a cop is nothing more than a civil servant with a gun. He/she has the authority granted to them by the state to enforce the law. But, for some, that power can go their head, and start to affect them. That's why the agencies that hire screen candidates with Pschy evaluations. Unfortunately, they aren't always effective at catching those that eventually go bad.
I think that Robert Heinlein had a good idea back when he wrote the book "Starship Troopers," making all civil servant jobs only available to veterans. I say this because the majority of cops today have no idea what it means to actually place their lives on the line for their country. I don't consider driving around in a car for 8 to 10 hours a day, walking around every so often to check things out, and maybe arresting someone to be that dangerous. Sure, you can get injured on the job, but let's not forget those that put on the uniform of this great nation. How many people have been killed in the recent wars fought to safeguard this nation? And, how many cops died while protecting our communities? Not that many, when you compare how many died in combat, or even in peacetime.
I get tired of people equating what a cop does to what I did while I served my country. First off, that cop doesn't have any idea (unless s/he's a veteran...) what it's like to be far away from home during the holidays. S/he has no idea what it's like to experience combat first hand (sure, they may get shot at, but that's not the same thing...), and s/he has no idea what it's like to see someone get blown up. I would like to see the cops on the street of Portland spend a week on duty on the mean streets of Bagdad or Fallujah...maybe, it might change them for the better...