Back the Blue?

Words Make a Difference

When these signs started sprouting around the neighborhood, I was puzzled. Ahhh, the “BLUE” must be the police. That we are backing the police must mean there is some kind of contest or war against some group.

Let me be clear. There are a lot of police in my family’s history starting with my grandfather through to my grandson. The policy through all those years was to “Protect and Serve” the citizens of their jurisdiction whether it was local, like my grandfather, state like my uncle and cousin, or county, like my grandson.

They never saw themselves as soldiers fighting a war against some “others”. They were “protecting and serving” their neighbors and community. Since they were not at war with the communities they protected and served; they didn’t need combat fatigues, kevlar vests, shields, SWAT units, grenades, tear gas, armored personnel carriers, or tanks. They were part of the communities they “protected and served”. They protected and served their neighbors. They knew them by name, their families, their friends. They were there to answer the call of those neighbors for protection and service.

Yes, times have changed. The police have been charged with doing social work, drug interdiction, teaching, health care, emergency medicine etc. They need to go back to protecting and serving their communities by doing police work. The governments need to provide those other services even if they cost money. The police should deal with crime. The rest of societies’s needs should be dealt with by people who have been trained in those areas like social workers.

The cities and states need to stop purchasing military hardware just because they can get it from the U.S. Army. The police are not the military. It is human nature that if you give a person a hammer, they will see everything as a nail. If you give a doctor a scalpel he will see the solution to be surgery. If you give the police military weapons and gear, they will see everyone as an enemy.

SUPPORT THE BLUE; don’t back them. For the police there is no enemy. For the police there is no other. For the police there are citizens who they need to “protect and defend”. We should not be at war with our citizens. We don’t help the police to see that distinction if we “back” them against the “other”.

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