When God Made Police Officers

When the Lord was creating peace officers, he was into his sixth day of

overtime when an angel appeared and said,

“You’re doing a lot of fiddling around with this one.”

 The Lord said, “Have you read the spec on this order?”

“A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the

dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn’t touch, and

not wrinkle his [her] uniform:

 “ He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout,

cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for

witnesses, and testify in court the next day.

 “He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black

coffee and half-eaten meals, and he has to have six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of

hands, . . . no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” said the Lord,

“it’s the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded.  “One pair that sees through a bulge in a

pocket before he asks, “ May I see what’s in there, sir?” (when he

already knows and wishes he’d taken that accounting job).

Another pair here in the side of his head for his partner’s safety.

And another pair of eyes here in the front that can look reassuringly at

a bleeding victim and say, “You’ll be all right ma’am,”

when he knows it isn’t so.

“Lord”, said the angel touching his sleeve,  “Rest and work on

this tomorrow.”  “I can’t,” said the Lord, “I already have a model that

can talk a 250-pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and

feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck.”

The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly.

“Can it think?” she asked.  “You bet,” said the Lord.

 “It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda

warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang

member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges

to debate the legality of the stop, . . . and still it keeps a sense of humor.”

This officer also has phenomenal control. He can deal with crime

scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a

murder victim’s family, and then read in the daily paper how law

enforcement isn’t sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects.”

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the check of

the peace officer.  “There’s a leak”, she pronounced.  “ I told you that

you were trying to put too much into this model”

“That’s not a leak,” said the Lord.  “It’s a tear.”

“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.

“It’s for bottled up emotions, for fallen comrades, for

commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the

American flag, for justice.”

“You’re a genius,” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber.  “I didn’t put it there,” He said.

–Author Unknown

In recognition of Police Officer Recognition Week, I posted this poem I included years ago in my dissertation while researching the impact of repeated exposure to trauma on police investigators.  Police Officer Recognition Week will be celebrated May 10-16, 2020.

About Dr. Lynn Atkinson Tovar

Dr. Lynn Atkinson Tovar is a professor of Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies at Lewis University in Illinois. The former commander has done research on teen relationships and technology as well as abusive relationships. Her book "Smart Teen, Safe Teen: Respecting Relationships in Your Social Digital Life " is available at https://amzn.to/2HJsuNE

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