posted on May, 12 2010 @ 01:33 PM
Saving lives is my-hero stuff, way to go for those students.
But this is so unfair to the police officers, how biased can it get? What is the psychological problem with authority that just assumes that all law
enforcement officers are evil abusive villians? I've grown up around cops and firemen and still encounter several regularly and while sure, once in
awhile there is someone whose personality really shouldn't be in that line of work, for the most part they are hardworking, decent human beings.
First, their larger duty is to keep the peace for the citizenry at large in which case keeping a whole mob of people from knocking each other in while
gawking is an important deed in its own right--no, I am not saying that 'saving a life' vs. 'keeping order' is less important but I'm saying that
keeping order is very high on the list of priorities since indirectly that ties back into the first point. Leaping in only to end up with others
leaping in and 3 people drowning instead of 1 would not be an improvement in the situation.
Secondly, they would be unable to fulfill any number of duties necessary to the scene up top while they were in the water, so if someone were *already
trying to help the woman* -- or *could* but probably would not bother to if they were doing it -- why would they even NEED to?
Thirdly, I've heard of plenty of heroic deeds by law enforcement but one thing the LEO's I know were trained in pretty well is that killing yourself
(and by proxy possibly endangering others) is seldom the wisest course of action. Just because these officers did not leap in and nearly drown
themselves trying to rescue someone, while ignoring other needs, does not make them nasty horrible villains who should be fired.
There are soldiers who try very hard to save the lives of civilians even kids and end up having to let it be while they go somewhere else where
they're needed right that minute. It doesn't mean they are villains or don't want to save anybody, it means they are entrained to duty-first and
that comes with certain restrictions, regulations, and priorities.
Cops and their entire dept., are liable for crazy amounts of money, general harm and even imprisonment if something goes wrong and some backseat
second guessing after the fact decides that because they abandoned reason and leaped into the water, other events happened that wouldn't have, had
they been 'keeping law and order'. It's not just about paperwork or duty, it's about the fact that a good man doing a good job should not end up
unemployed, disgraced, or worse, their family and kids affected too, for doing the right thing.
And here's a news flash for people who have never been in crisis-trauma situations: there is never a way of knowing what is "the right thing"
because there are so often unintended events, side-effects and consequences which later are second-guessed to have made even the best and most noble
intentions into the wrong thing, even the how-could-you-no-excuse thing. This is where policy and procedure becomes critical and that is one reason it
exists. You can't have the uniforms running around like loose cannons each with a spontaneous different idea or they are no different than the
crowds. 'Uniformity' has reasons of its own.
I personally think that most the men I know who've been law enforcement officers (so sorry to the women I simply haven't known any personally) would
*personally want* to rescue someone -- in fact pretty much all the LEO's I've known are almost humorously chivalrous in many ways, very much the
manly-man dudley-do-right sorts -- but they would be forced to do what was duty and procedure in a crisis situation. And they live with that
frustration and regret in their psyche just like they live with the corpses in truck grills and crime scenes and nearly every human they meet treating
their working for the good of the community like it makes them some kind of evil gangster who's better off fired (or even dead) (while ironically the
gangsters think they're nerds and want them dead).
To do what you must in hard situations because organized peacekeeping is sometimes the bigger picture and the first priority is often *not* easy at
all for individuals and takes its own kind of courage. To then be reviled by the public for not acting mindlessly and endangering directly or
indirectly the crowd's individuals, yourself, your fellow officers, and your department, is really injust.