I'll preface this by admitting that ever since I was a little kid I've been intimidated by police. It's the image. Uniforms, badges, guns and more leather accessories than a street girl in Amsterdam. At the time they seemed huge and menacing. I'm not sure where it came from but it still lingers. I steer clear of them. Sort of. I really don't know any.
The image isn't helped by the number of 'bad cops' who have gotten lots of press in neighboring Spokane. Everything from an off duty deputy flashing a barista to video of cops beating and restraining a mentally impaired man in such a way it led to his death.
It has been a great place to be a bad cop. The prosecutor wouldn't prosecute and the union wouldn't let them be fired. The city now has a new top cop and I wish him well. He's going to need it.
The county, lucky for them, has a sheriff who is really one of the good guys. I'll forgive him for looking just like the stereotype that scares me. He at least tries to fire the renegades but the arbitrators more often than not win the battle for them. Thank you police union!
So what to do? Get some of our upstanding, for the good of the people pols to sponsor legislation to prevent arbitration from overturning a top cops decision on a bad cop. Having at one time been a union president he will admit to the desirability of them. But now the shoe is one the other foot and he is getting the short end of the process. Welcome to our world.
Every sheriff in the state has signed on to the proposed legislation yet not one legislator has stepped up to the plate. They are either intimidated by the union or need their endorsements and money for their own political ambitions. Thanks a lot legislators.
Unfortunately this is not just a local problem. Far too many officers have multiple infractions and still get reinstated. Is this how police states get started? The authorities scratch one anothers backs leaving the public unsure what sort of protection is available to them? Is their police department corruption free or not? Are they safe from their own police?
It's a worrisome situation. Were there more images of good cops like the NYPD officer who bought the boots for a homeless man on a freezing cold night rather than the video of cops whaling away on a confused innocent.
We need to support the good guys. With the way the government is manipulating our laws and Constitution for their own ends, enforcement agencies may be our last line of defense when they refuse to enforce laws or dictates that are not constitutional. I'd hate to see it come to that but there are rumblings with this gun safety fiasco.
An act of good faith might be for the Washington legislature, with spanking new members and a new governor, to take up the proposed legislation from the good guy. He's not the villain. I don't like to think of any of us as being victims but we are just as is he. Of politicians. Again.