As you read the following excerpt from an unknown author keep in mind the following statistics:

We have roughly 700,000 Police officers in the U.S. who create a fine blue line between peace and chaos for hundreds of millions of U.S. citizens.

200 of these officers are killed in the line of duty each year, a number that is rising.

Another 250 officers were shot but saved by ballistic (bullet proof) vests.

200,000 police officers are criminally assaulted each year.

15,000 of these officers require hospitalization each year.

300 police officers commit suicide each year as a direct result of the job.


A police officer is a composite of what all people are, a mingling of saint and sinner, dust and deity.  Cold statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscoring instances of dishonesty and brutality because that is news.

What they REALLY mean is cops are exceptional, unusual - not commonplace. Buried under the froth is the fact that less than one half of one percent of police officers disgrace the uniform.  That's a better average than among our clergy.

They are of all people, one of the most needed, yet most unwanted.  A strangely nameless creature that is "sir" or "ma'am" to their face, and "pig" to their back.

In an instant, they must make decisions, which require months for a lawyer. If they hurry, they are careless, if deliberate they are lazy.  They must be first to an accident, infallible with diagnoses.  They must be able to restart breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and above all be sure the victim goes home without a limp, or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run and shoot where it doesn't hurt. They must be able to whip two men twice their size and half their age without damaging their uniform, or being brutal. If they get hit they're a coward, if they hit you they're a bully, friendly they're a flirt, if not they're a grouch.

A police officer must know everything and not tell.  They must know where sin is yet not partaking.  A police officer is a minister... social worker...diplomat... tough guy... and a shoulder to cry on. The acting parent of a society that offers little support to them in return.

The police officer must from a single human hair, describe the crime, the weapon, and the criminal, and tell you where he is hiding.  If they catch the crook they got lucky, if not a dunce.  If they get promoted they have political clout, if not a dullard.

They run files and write reports until their eyes ache to build a case against a dangerous felon, who will get dealed out by a shameless lawyer, or an honorable judge who isn't.

They also are a genius, for they somehow feed a family on a cop's salary. A token reminder of societies shameful unwillingness to pay them half of what they're worth.

This is being forwarded to you from Ahwatukee N.A.I.L.E.M. member Mary C.

Once again I can't sleep.

Thanks Mr. Citizen for calling my boss to complain. Thanks for pointing out how long you had to wait. Thanks for telling him that I was not "friendly" enough. Thanks for once again reminding him that you pay my salary. Thanks for telling him that you always see my partners or I sitting in our cars goofing off...

Let me tell you what I see.

I've seen to many battered women.

I've seen to many dead children.

I've seen to many people who have messed up their lives with alcohol or drugs.

I've seen to many adult couples who act like children then have to call me to solve problems they couldn't solve in 10 years of marriage.

I've seen to many bodies lying in the roadway while the drunk who caused the accident walks away.

I've seen to many caskets draped in the American flag.

I've seen too much.

Yes, thanks for calling my boss to tell him I was in a rotten mood when I helped you.

P.S. Maybe the next time you call an officer for help, and they don't seem to be as happy to be there you think they should, you might consider what he or she has seen, and say "thanks for seeing it for me."