By Warren Pulley
Since the early 1700s, populations in the United States have had some form of “Night Watch”, “Town Watch” or Constable to help provide gaps in protection that the locally armed citizenry could not do. Early Americans did not depend on their police departments to protect them from each and every ill in the society of the day; they instead wanted their police officers to maintain the class systems that were in place with early settlers and help with the protection of private property when the citizenry could not.
The use of police-type organizations such as the Pinkertons, the Mint Police, US Parks Police, and U.S. Marshalls helped establish law and order in the early days, and provided the established respect for law enforcement officers and the dangers they faced in our untamed early country and westward settlements.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, and take a long and hard look at any police or sheriff’s department in this country and you will find it under siege. And when I say under siege, I mean just that. They have constant pressure applied to them by race-baiting attorneys and news organizations that fail to do their due diligence and seek the truth of any given police situation. Internal Affairs departments – that in their haste to calm what is seen as racial tension – go after law abiding, policy minding police officers with a vengeance for the sake of perceived fairness, along with the Monday morning quarterbacking public that gobbles up the downfall of one of its protectors with a pizza and a soda.
I spent the better part of 12 years patrolling the streets of Los Angeles in the divisions of Rampart and Southeast, and constantly walked the line of being a perceived racist cop. Although I was a black police officer, I watched untold numbers of officers adopt the drive and wave approach to police work due to the harsh, unbalanced and out of whack internal investigations that could and did derail their careers – often times based on a misperception of a police officer’s authority and the department’s lack of ability and unwillingness to explain such to the general public.
The downfall of our police departments will be swift and permanent, and will leave a whole class of people defenseless and unprotected if, as Americans, we don’t collectively take steps to defend our officers when they are in the right. They have the absolute authority to conduct the kind of policing they are sworn to do, and call out any officer that is failing to protect and serve citizens with the zeal that they would protect their own families with.
Let’s get something straight, not every black person shot by a white officer is a victim. There are black males that carry guns illegally on our streets, and they do fight with police officers when confronted with arrest – and then look to illicit the sympathy of the general public by crying foul when injured or killed by the police for their aggressive and illegal actions. This exact chain of events occurs in the white community also, but the visceral, negative reaction to the same events in different neighborhoods is the main cause of the downfall of our police departments.
Mark my words, if we as a society continue to scapegoat our police, prop up our most vile criminals and violators, and scatter reasonable discussion and discourse to the wind, then we may wake up one morning to find the disbanding of police departments nationwide and the return to self-preservation, self-protection and self-governance. How many of you are really ready for that?
Warren Pulley is a military veteran, former law enforcement officer, and current CEO of RyPul Threat Assessments (a global threat assessment company).