Most of you who read what I write each day know that for nine years, I worked in law enforcement. I served in two different agencies in both California and Oregon. Police work is like military service. Once a cop, always a cop. To this day, I still slow down when I see an officer on a car stop making sure they are OK. I would intervene if an officer ever needed my help.
The vast majority of our population has thankfully never experienced gross forms of violence. Gross violence, the kind that tears flesh and destroys life, remains an unknown experience to the majority of our population. As a cop, I saw the worst one human being can do to another, some of it is absolutely unimaginable to the uninitiated. For many people, the most violent thing they have ever been involved in is a shouting match or a brief fistfight in a schoolyard.
What stands in the way of gross violence prowling our streets in greater freedom is what is called “the thin blue line.” The ” thin blue line ” is a term that refers to the concept of law enforcement officers as the last line of defense that keeps society from descending into violent chaos. If that line ever evaporates, none of us would ever get another restful night of sleep or drive to our local grocery store without worrying about our safety.
Every day, law enforcement officers transact an estimated one million interactions with civilians. If you do the math, the overwhelming majority of those interactions are peaceful and respectful. Still, some lawless individuals try to cross over the thin blue line and are met with necessary force. Sadly, there are a few times when innocent people get killed by cops we should never have hired, let alone carry a weapon. Those are few and far between when compared to the vast majority of good cops. It is not a perfect process.
Be careful to which side of the thin blue line you attach your emotions and allegiance. There is an ignorant and uninformed spirit prowling social media and our news outlets that wants you to believe all cops are bad and need to be done away with, leaving the protection of society to social workers and counselors. While social work and counseling are admirable professions that should be part of good policing, they are not able to establish and defend the thin blue line of resistance that keeps violent individuals from taking over society.
“For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong” (Romans 13:4).