CORAL SPRINGS, FL – This week, President Biden issued some executive orders on gun control. Good for him.
In his announcement, he mentioned a few things that took my breath away. One was that the second mass shooting took place before the flags flying at half-staff for last weeks had been raised and between the two there occurred more than 800 shootings that were not classified as “mass” shooting events. That’s head-spinning.
In another news note, it was pointed out that during the George Floyd trial, police incidents of excessive force have not dropped. Something is definitely wrong.
Yet here in Coral Springs and in other small- to medium-sized communities around the country, citizens love their cops. I have no research on this, but my educated guess is that the key words here are small- to medium-sized. I think that the larger the force, the larger the area they police, especially if it is urban, the more incidents with cops occur that anger citizens.
Having done some police training way back when for the Coral Springs Police Department, my feelings were these.
First, diversity or ethnicity training, which most cops hate, was accepted with equanimity by the force. It was something to learn. They found it interesting, and I suspect there occurred many a conversation later about which parts were usable and which were not. I would call that an unqualified success. If education leads to discussion, one can’t ask for anything better.
There also seemed to be, if not a camaraderie, a comfort level amongst the officers. They were all in it together. When I say all, I mean this. The training wasn’t a command from the chief. Well, it was, but the command was for everyone, so the chief and the top brass took the training as well. That speaks to a culture that is hard to implement but once implemented becomes “just the way things are done here” culture.
There is a certain pride, it seems, in being a cop in Coral Springs. I could write the other side of this: the community doesn’t have a lot of “bad” crime, the department makes it a point to be involved in the community, there aren’t deep to the point dangerous ethnic divisions in the city. But what is important is that there is a certain harmony between those who wear the badge and those whose safety is kept by those who wear it.
I would add one more thing. It is a matter of law and politics. There will be no measurable change until the NRA is changed. In the past year, we’ve seen that it is an organization run by egomaniacal, fear-mongering, thieves. Mind you, I speak not of most of its members, only its guardians. When the government gets the gumption to challenge the gross violation by the NRA of its 501 status that makes it a tax-exempt organization and fines it for the repeated breaches and opens hearings on its removal, not much will change.
Back to police. It is good that regardless of the individuals’ feelings within the police force, they keep them at home, in the backyard, or at the local pub. They don’t see their job description as changing society. Their job is the safety of you who are reading this and your neighbors. That job is plenty of work and each day they set out to do it as well as possible.
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