I really have to stop bingeing on Cops Reloaded, the newly repackaged TV series of all the strangest, most exciting episodes of the original reality series, Cops.
Coming back from the movies with my gay husband (to differentiate him from my legal husband, who is definitely NOT gay) I had an SJPD car behind me. My heart sped up and I kept checking the rear view mirror to be sure they hadn’t “lit me up.” Then I did a mental inventory: I had no warrants, no drugs or guns in the car, I actually HAVE a driver’s license and it has not been revoked and since I screwed up my back I definitely could not run even if I wanted to. I wasn’t in danger of being “tazed” or tackled, nor was it likely that a uniformed hottie would tell me to put my hands behind my back. Even if I wanted him to.
Still, I felt that little frisson of anxiety that I’m sure was brought about by watching at least 50 half-hour episodes of Cops Reloaded in the past few weeks.
Yeah, I’m a woman of excess.
Hubby and I enjoy watching some of the stupidest people known to man.
“If you watch these shows you’d believe that every single driver has a warrant and every cop is the voice of reason,” he said to me the other night, as we watched yet another officer give a handcuffed do-badder the “Dutch uncle” talk.
But that got me thinking about cops in general. LE or Law enforcement professionals.
Growing up around organized crime I was more likely to meet small-time Mafia figures at family events than cops. Except for one. My (late) cousin was a bad cop: a big guy with a bad temper. He stole and beat up African-Americans and I recall vaguely that he was booted from the force. For a long time, he was the only cop I knew personally. A very long time.
We were raised to respect cops, but my father was very candid about the bad behavior of his nephew, so it was a mixed bag for us.
The rest of my image of law enforcement was formed by the TV and movie cops I knew. And we know how accurate film and TV are.
About 20 years ago I met two LE professionals my age. They belied all the typical stereotypes of cops. They’re smart, literate, irreverent, fairly liberal or very very liberal. They’re hilarious and committed; serious and way fun. They have integrity. That goes for a third LE professional I met more recently. They’re some of the best human beings I know.
So how do these stereotypes get started? There might have been a day when the K-9 was the smartest officer on the job, (maybe) but that’s not a generalization I’d make today.
Have I said how much I love police K-9s?
Say what you will about so-called “reality” shows, this one has given viewers a tiny taste of what it’s like to put your life at risk every time you make a call or a stop. Every day. Every time. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even imagine the kind toll that takes because I can’t believe the number of times guns and other weapons are found in cars. Or that perps fight back. I mean, seriously?
So let’s talk cops. Police officers. I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, good, bad or indifferent. Weigh in, if you will, and tell a story or two if you have one.