RARA-AVIS: Re: The Tough Cookie Crumbles

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 08 Jun 2009

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    Dave wrote:

    > Kevin,
    > I think you've been reading too many crime novels.

    A curious statement from someone who writes crime novels, perhaps. But hey, what can I do? I write about and review crime and detective novels. It's probably more honest for me to read them first.

    Like, did you actually read THE DISASSEMBLED MAN or just give them a blurb? Or did they just use your name without telling you? I notice they've removed your blurb from the Amazon page.

    But I digress...

    > The police can't resort to the use of firearms in every (most)
    > situation--there would be riots in the streets if they did.

    Read the newspapers. There already ARE riots in the streets over police use of firearms. Sometimes the demonstrations, if not the resulting riots, may even be warranted.

    > Mike's been telling me he's been having to engage in 3-4 physical
    > altercations a week on the job, usually in trying to break up bar
    > room brawls. Why any guy in Matteson, no matter how drunk they might
    > be, would try to take Mike on is beyond me. Anyway, there's a reason
    > why most cops have to be tough to do the job.

    Because they're not able to diffuse situations? Not able to judge when physical or even deadly force is warranted?

    A smart cop tries to calm things down and minimize confrontation and violence. Not roll up his sleeves and start swinging, living out some failed-jock John Wayne fantasy.

    I would suggest one reason there already ARE riots in the street, from Montreal to LA and everywhere in between (maybe even in Matteson and Madison), is because some cops are, unfortunately, too preoccupied with proving how "tough" they are.

    I've known a few cops. Some are big alpha male bruiser lunkheads, but most aren't. Some are short, some are slight of build, some are out of shape. Some are smart, some not so much. Some of them are idealists who want to protect and serve, some of them are failed jocks who like carrying guns and swinging their dicks. And a few don't give two shits about the law they've sworn to uphold.

    There's no denying cops have to be tough -- it's a tough job. But there are all kinds of tough. A really good cop also has to possess tremendous amounts of compassion, empathy, fairness, humility, intelligence, diplomacy, courage, mercy and common sense, and the toughness of mind to know when to use each. Relying solely on schoolboy definitions of toughness is as likely to cause trouble on the job as to prevent it.


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