By Steve Loomis
Dear Law Abiding Citizens,
All Police Officers are willing to take the physical risks that come with our profession. However we are not (nor should we be) willing to be personally maligned by the liberal media, attacked by racially exclusive hate groups, and probably most importantly ABANDONED by the week kneed politicians and command staff that ask us to do the job however fail to support us after we do it.
In Cleveland (and many other big cities in America) weak kneed politico’s ALWAYS take the path of least resistance at the first sign of controversy whether justified or not. It is always easier to blame the Cop, suspend the Cop, fire the Cop and ignore the facts, training, and laws that support our actions than it is to muster the integral fortitude needed to stand up and actually DEFEND the actions of their officers and the laws and training that govern them.
We have done and are expected to do a very difficult and sometimes violent job usually under the worst of conditions. We are expected in two tenths of a second to determine the age of a suspect and whether or not the GUN HE IS PULLING from his waistband is going to shoot a bullet at us or a BB as we approach him in a marked police car, on a gun run, at an open recreation center known for gang violence. The same politicians that cut our budgets for 17 years in a row, understaff us, and under-equip us then write a 6 MILLION dollar check after the tragic conclusion to that call. This “settlement” was reached 6 MONTHS PRIOR to the conclusion of any of the multiple and independant investigations that took place CLEARING these officers of ANY criminal or administrative wrong doing. That check was written for political not practical reasons and without just cause.
This incident was an absolute tragedy for ALL involved, we have maintained that from the onset. It was not set in motion by the action of the officers but by their reaction to events unfolding in front of them and the information they had at the time. The politicians have used this tragic incident as a campaign punch line and fodder inappropriately financed by the tax payers. By the way, the same politicians that paid the 6 million to the family of this juvenile suspect who pulled a gun on the police, bragged during a press conference about the $100,000 check they wrote to the family of a Cleveland Police Officer recently killed in the line of duty…
Is there any wonder in the world why arrests and citations are down in Cleveland, in Ohio, and apparently everywhere else in the country given these facts? It IS NOT through any “organized” effort as some have implied, but it is because of our basic and righteous human instinct for self preservation. Police Officers have the same families to support, bills to pay, and life challenges to face as everybody else in the country. Like everyone else, we need our jobs to help face those life challenges. We are woefully underpaid the same amount of money for answering 911 calls and driving around in circles to provide a presence, as we are for proactively Policing the high crime neighborhoods of our cities. The problem being that proactively working in high crime areas often times result in the possibility of “politically incorrect” physical confrontations with dangerous and violent criminals. Sometimes, strike that, most of the time these physical confrontations (especially involving white cops vs. non white suspects) lead to political pressure and controversy for the politicians and appointed staff who send us there. These “controversies” ultimately and unfortunately lead to problems for us. The uneducated politician wants violent crime to go down, they want us to accomplish that goal with a kiss and a hug for the bad guys, and they want us to accomplish that goal for free! Until those ideologies change I suspect nothing else will and in fact things will continue to get worse.
If I have not been clear, Law Enforcement Officers are more afraid of the lack of support from the appointed and elected officials in our world than we EVER will be of the violent criminals we protect the same officials and their law abiding constituents from everyday. The politicians and their appointees sitting safely behind mahogany desks are responsible for the statistics and trends we are seeing, NOT the police in the trenches actually doing the work.
Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason, and it’s not to cater to the political whims of anyone.
Steve Loomis, President, Cleveland PPA