Taken for Granted

Some Police Officers are idiots, capable of all manner of stupidity…

But most of them are heroes.

Some Police Officers are pompous, self-important buffoons…

But most of them would go to the ends of the earth for you.

Some Police Officers are idle, workshy lumberers…

But most of them would, without a second thought, spend themselves on your behalf.

Some Police Officers are economical with the truth; some hold a view of the world that no decent person would share; some are quite simply corrupt – and have no place among us…

But most of them are extraordinary people who just want to make a difference… who want to do their duty.

And I wonder whether – just sometimes – we might lose sight of the truth of these things.

I wonder whether, in the face of the score-settling, political-point-scoring, one-eyed commentary offered by the Grudge Holders and Armchair Occupiers, we are in danger of losing a sense of balance and perspective.

I wonder whether, when it comes to the people who police our streets, there is a possibility that – just sometimes – some of us might begin to take some of them for granted.

There are the Frontline Officers who take a step forward just as the rest of us take a step back – who confront the men of violence and who daily face the kinds of realities that most of us would prefer never to think about, much less deal with. Have we even begun to consider, much less comprehend, the impact that repeated exposure to extreme trauma has on them?

There are the Firearms Officers – volunteers, every single one of them – who take the calls too dangerous for anyone else; who are deployed thousands of times every year and who fire their weapons on no more than a handful of occasions.

There are the Public Order Officers – who kit up and put themselves in harm’s way in defence of democracy.

There are the Licensed Search Officers – who turn out at all times of the day and night, in fair weather and foul, to pick their way through scenes of carnage and sadness, looking for the tiniest fragment of evidence to complete the picture.

There are the Hostage & Crisis Negotiators – who take on that role in addition to the day job and who place themselves on call 24 hours a day, 7 days at a time, for the sake of those hurting souls who have reached the end of themselves.

There are the Family Liaison Officers – who pour themselves out for people who have lost their loved ones in circumstances beyond imagining, and who remain in touch with the bereaved for years after any professional obligation is over.

There are the Probationary Officers, a couple of weeks out of Training School – who, given the choice, volunteered to go down into the tunnels on 7/7.

There are the Sexual Offences Investigation Officers – who care for some of the most vulnerable in society; there are the Evidence Review Officers – viewing haunting horrors on repeat; there are the Scenes of Crime Officers – who are faced with the unimaginable; there are the Counter-Terrorism Officers – seeking to prevent the unthinkable. The list could be almost endless.

Then there are the thousands of officers who are injured in the line of duty every single year. And there are those who pay the greatest price of all. Greater love hath no one than to lay their life down…

We owe our Police Officers an endless debt of gratitude.

God only knows what we would do without them.

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22 thoughts on “Taken for Granted

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  1. Great as always John, but you forgot the detectives, who often have to build the cases against those who would do us most harm, cancel the school concert because ‘there’s one in the bin’ or a critical incident occurs. Who are often constrained by time, procedure and hindsight, and are frequently unfairly vilified when things go wrong. We play our part too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Morning my friend… Funnily enough, I was making a conscious effort to include the Tecs – within the definition of ‘Frontline Officers’, the FLOs, the evidence reviewers & the CT officers. But I ought to have been more explicit…

      Like

  2. Another excellent and well balanced piece. As the wife of a retired DCI, mother of a serving DCI and grandmother of a recently attested Special Constable, I couldn’t have wished for a better summery of what our police officers do, and why they must not be taken for granted. Thank you, once again John

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Believe me, we do not take you for granted. Working in the police force you probably only mix with wrong-doers, only listen and read journalist that are fully of woe and criticism – praise and good do not make for good reading.
    From one of the silent majority – how can we let you know how safe and thankful you make us feel when we hear police sirens rushing to an incident. The fact that we can call the police by phone when we are in danger. That you knock on our doors when someone goes missing.
    Perhaps we should have more awards voted for by the public.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with the last post. And think you make very important points about the hard work, sacrifices and silent forbearance of all police officers & staff. A small plea to also remember the contributions of their family and friends who may tolerate missed family time, give love & understanding without always knowing the details of why, provide out of hours child support…. – well you know. As one “taxpayer who pays your wages” (sorry couldn’t resist) I think I get bloody good value for money. Thank you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. this is what I wrote a while ago as an open letter – and you have my gratitude;

    Do we appreciate our local heroes?
    I think when we consider heroes we are a quick to think of them as those in the armed services that get awarded medals for bravery or outstanding service. However, I think sometimes, we take for granted those also in service on our local streets. Many of us support our troops and so we should, as they are battling it out overseas, but many are battling it out on our streets too, keeping people safe and for them support seems sometimes hard to come by. I previously had no connection to any armed forces or emergency services people, so I personally have never given this “group” much thought as I’m sure many of us don’t, until I met and made a friend for life in the police.

    In particular with the police, we tend to hear many negatives of where isolated incidents have gone wrong, for example suing over curbs, but do we hear enough of them to put them in a positive light? Should they not be our local heroes as they try and keep us safe? When we say ‘support our troops’ should we not grant them the same respect? It’s been an eye opener, as yes, I saw them as a homogeneous group, uniformed and without knowing any identities to humanise, with mainly bad press to go on; I can’t actually think of a good news story to come out recently at all.

    But as you learn more, they, like the fire service and paramedics, put their safety on the line for us, daily, year in year out, often in difficult situations where people are stressed, angry or confused and need help. It’s easy to slate them as they themselves, as individuals, do not have the freedom to answer their critics and are too busy with doing their duty!

    It’s surprising how the public can be so cynical about the police, but even more surprising is, perhaps, that many within the police themselves are not cyclical about us, the public, as they deal with aggressive drunks, people swinging meat cleavers, domestic violence, drug abuse and dealing with overall dishonesty, which I can only imagine would make me despair of humankind! And, all of this on a daily basis with always the risk of being injured!

    Together with my friend for life we have started a charitable not for profit organisation now that aims to help those that have suffered PTSD by being on the front lines – not just for the armed forces but for the emergency services also as not only are they heroes they are also in my eyes veterans.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Not forgetting Special Constables, who put themselves in harms way and fight the good fight with their Regular colleagues for little or no reward!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I took the Police for granted, insofar as you would always be there, without thinking about the challenges you face day in, day out. However, since joining Twitter I’ve ‘met’ lots of fabulous officers, anon and otherwise, and learned so much about the work I’d previously taken for granted – so much so that it moved me to write my first blog! I’m not afraid to say I’m a supporter of our wonderful Police service and try to show my support and appreciation for all you do when I can.
    Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  8. And then there are the Special Constables who come home from working their 9-5 “day job” and put on a uniform to go and volunteer to put themselves in the same position as all of the above. They give up what little time they have with their family and friends to face the same dangers as their paid counterparts.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am newly retired, was proudly operational and front line for the majority of my service. Loved my career and was sad to say good bye. The service needs more of you, more of your balance and understanding, more senior officers who remind the front line that we are all human beings working towards the same things. Front line lose sight of that because it is seldom shown and when it is, we dont always acknowledge and say thank you. On behalf of front line operational cops – THANK YOU.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Good Morning

    I don’t take the Police for granted, I take them as a given (paid for by the public purse) in a modern society.

    But a colleague of yours does you no favours at all, when she says the police should not attend burglaries. This is what the public are paying you for, to fight crime all crime and not to cherry pick.

    Best Regards

    Danny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Daniel, as a police officer for the past 12 years, I can speak with the UTMOST confidence when I say that an officer making a statement that they “shouldn’t” or ” are not” going to respond to calls is the same as anyone else in ANY other profession BLOWING OFF STEAM. However, I absolutely hate when people use the “we pay for you with our taxes” statement….and here is why. Guess what? ALL POLICE OFFICERS PAY TAXES TOO. So if you want to take that stance, then WE really get the short end of the stick when it comes to pay. You just sound ignorant when you make that statement. We all took an oath to serve and protect and that is what THE MAJORITY of police do. But we are human and we do get tired of being portrayed as the bad guys when WE are the ones risking our lives for you……EVERYDAY.

      Just My Opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Danny, be careful what you read. That isn’t exactly what was said although I grant you that’s pretty much what was reported. If you are being burgled or suspect that the burglar is still there, there will still be an urgent response. If you are vulnerable, there will still be an urgent response. If you come home to find you have been burgled, there will still be a response, but other incidents will possibly take presidence. The other support I.e forensics and victim support will still be there.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I swore an oath, 200 others did on the same day, witnessed by our peers, family, strangers and superiors. I meant it, most of us did, some maybe not, I can’t speak for them.
    I deal with crime on a daily basis, I became a police officer because I believe in fairness, justice and being. My children have a right to a fair and honest upbringing. I teach them that there is a consequence to their actions, right or wrong, whatever they do. They also have a right to live there lives without worry of other people’s actions, a right to well being! I have been a retailer, salesman, waiter and chef but now I do this. I do it for my family and everyone else’s. I feel I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t. It hurts to be criticised so often and so publicly, it hurts us all, but we carry on because that’s what we swore to do. I do my job because that is who I . It is a vocation, not just a 9-5. I believe in what I do and I do it fairly.
    John

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Absolutely brilliant words John. I know I’ve been out for 4+ years now, but it still drives me mad when you get Home Secretaries, MP’s and other alleged experts using the police service as a political football to further their own careers. Hope you are well. Keep up the good work. Cheers Phil J

    Liked by 2 people

  13. John,

    324 of us will be meeting the boss somewhere in NW9 tomorrow. This evening has been a mad rush of ironing and polishing but there was a final bit of preparation I needed to do and that was remind myself why we’re all here to do this in the first place…I’ve taken the time to re-read all your posts in order to do just that.

    Tomorrow there will be a maelstrom of emotions in my mind – anxiety, exhilaration, sadness, excitement, frustration, pride – and that nagging, gnawing worry of “was taking the plunge the right option?” As ever, coming here is the elixir of that confirmation that…yes, it’s going to be the right decision.

    So…thanks for providing the “because” to all the “whys”.

    Hopefully work proudly for you one day (again).

    E.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Sir, another excellent piece. The cuts may not have materialised immediately but they are really starting to bite now. Still, at least it being summer the earlies drive in and the nights drive home are bright, fresh and green, well, when the weather remembers it’s July anyway! I trust you are well. JP

    Liked by 2 people

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