On a daily basis lately I have been reading stories about police officers and sheriff deputies being disciplined, called out and fired for not being able to keep their mouths shut and their fingers off keyboards.
There is no arguing that this is a very difficult time for law enforcement. Everyone and their sister is enjoying the ‘pile on police’ band wagon right now because of some very high-profile cases that have put a very bright light on the profession.
Understandably it is very frustrating for officers that are seeing attack after attack and there comes a point when enough is enough and you
speak type up.
The problem is that generally officers are speaking from a position of emotion and passion which can often lead to the post button being pushed before the filter has time to catch up with the thought and action.
The result? Investigations, punishment, unemployment.
The most ridiculous part is every time an officer puts themselves in that position, the press grabs the story, writes it up and delivers more ammunition for the people condemning police actions.
WELL DONE, PLEASE ALLOW ME TO STAND AND APPLAUD AT YOUR ABILITY TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE FOR YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
I totally get it. You are frustrated because the media has had a field day with the ability to provide advertisers metrics that are out of this world because everyone gets to see the feeding frenzy as it happens. You are frustrated because NO ONE is countering the half-truths, misinformation, misleading headlines and out-and-out lies. NO ONE is standing up for the rank and file.
Why? I have no idea. Professional communicators will march out some tired old canned response that doesn’t get any airplay. Police ‘leaders’ will sit stoically silent because that is what they learned from their mentors 20 years ago. Up and comers will properly pander so that they look and smell good for the next interview.
The most common advice I’ve been hearing that officers are receiving has sounded something like this, “Remember what you say will reflect on the department.”
Guess what? If officers have no faith in their department leadership do you really think they care how their words will reflect on the department?
What the officers need to hear is, “Understand that whatever you say on social media can come back to harm you. Private is never truly private and you will never win an argument with a rock so don’t try.”
You will not stand a chance out there so just SHUT THE F UP.
I would be remiss if I brought you this far and didn’t offer you options so here are five sure-fire responses that will protect you and your future.
1.) I support any police officer who conducts themselves lawfully and above reproach.
2.) While I may have a personal opinion on the matter, until the facts come out, I will keep those opinions to myself because everyone is entitled to be judged with facts, not with rumors and opinion.
3.) I love discussing important issues with informed and open-minded people. (Then don’t say anything else…some people will get it.)
4.) To say that police are killing and beating people in the ways that are being reported is false, not supported by facts and proven wrong simply by the fact it’s not happening everywhere all the time.
I truly hope you get the intent of this post…I don’t want to see any more police in the news for being stupid and letting their emotions get the best of them.
PS….some of you will suddenly get number 5. Others, please read this post again.
Oh and PLEEEEEEEEEEASE stop saying that the public doesn’t know the job so they can’t comment and or telling them only the worst parts of the job that you face. Most people that you want to influence know all that by now. The others really don’t care and the one’s in the know will call BS on you and you’re then screwed because you know it’s not all doom and gloom.
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