Whether you like cops or you don’t, you have to admit that they have a hard job.
And things right now are very unpredictable and dangerous, so these comments from cops will be very interesting to read through.
Stay safe out there and look out for one another.
Here’s what people in law enforcement had to say about what’s going on in the streets on AskReddit.
1. Respectful protests.
“Where I’m at there’s been plenty of protests and I’ve not had a day off in over a week now. But honestly the protestors here have been respectful, well mannered, and honestly a great representation of how things should be. I’ve had great conversations with them and think some good came of it.
Sure I had 1 or 2 get in my face screaming and such but it really didn’t bother me cause of the above paragraph.
I’d say, from my experience, most people aren’t anti-cop per se. They are anti excessive force and violation of rights. And I’m with them. Protest the shit out of it. There is a need for change and I’m ready for it. Help me get these knuckle draggers out so we can all have better days.
I really hope we can make these changes peacefully. Enough blood has been shed and enough damage has been done.”
“My dad has already been working overtime so we could move this year, and he would get his three days off, but now I cant even see him.
He usually just sleeps at the station now.”
3. Behind the scenes.
“I work behind the scenes for a police service… 9-1-1 call taking, dispatch (overlaps with fire/ambulance), background checks/records keeping, in a fairly large Canadian city.
We have had protests but they have been peaceful. Ironically, some of the rabble rousers lean more on the… right side of things I would say. We’re all disgusted by the Floyd video, very disgusted.
Morale with officers is obviously low.
Work otherwise is the same. Some busy days or nights, some not.
Some of my co-workers I think are being fake activists. Posted the black square to Instagram, but when I asked if they were donating to the cause… silence or “oh I don’t know anything about that”. They don’t really understanding anything about police reforms, or the anger of the black community.
It’s a crazy time for everyone. Big increase in domestic violence (intimate, between partners) and suicides/mental health type calls. Also huge increase in violent family disputes, or family domestics, due to COVID (usually family wanting to defy quarantine, and other family getting angry.This is VERY common lately).
Things are definitely different. I have an already mentally exhausting job… so yeah.”
4. You have to want to do it.
“It’s made me want to do my job even more. Anyone considering a new career path because of this should absolutely do just that. Tensions are slowly loosening up internally at department, but we’re all ready for whatever is next.
Though out in the field, it’s a little bit more nerve wracking, people who aren’t pro-cop are a concern for a variety of reasons. It’s been a wild couple weeks but has brought us closer together because we’ve literally been living at the department.
The majority of protests since the riots are all peaceful, and our main concern is just keeping those people safe through it all.
The whole incident brings up this thought to myself and a lot of coworkers: In the academy, if one person messes up, we all get destroyed. Doesn’t matter if every other person is 100% on track, if one person isn’t… just get ready for pain.
These past couple weeks have solidified that.”
5. Just started.
“Just graduated the Academy very recently. So great timing as always.
I joined to help people, but people hate me allot more now so it’s interesting. I work for a good department that’s on top of things but change and reform can be a good thing (or bad if it’s done just for approval ratings of politicians).
Mostly I’m tired. Trying to learn everything but not being able to escape from it it’s everything going on. The constant “all cops are bastards” is weird, I don’t think I’m a bastard. But who does?
You have a different perspective on certain things but obviously excessive use of force is disgusting. I have yet to see overt racism, but knowing it exists and to be vigilant that it can cloud your judgement if your not careful is a valuable reminder.
The qualified immunity thing is kinda terrifying. We’re already at risk being civilly liable for egregious mistakes, but being civilly liable for anything someone doesn’t like….parts of the job are going to make people mad, we respond to the worst time of people’s lives and people hate us.
I think it’s too big of a risk to be in the profession if that happens. Also don’t defund police departments, you’ll get worse candidates and it’ll be just like “no child left behind”. I’m new so what the hell do I know though.
I don’t mind the hate, I support the protests, but it’s kinda surreal doing something that I’m proud of and being called the gestapo. Like I read all cops should be ashamed of themselves and quit. I don’t know how to take that.
I’ll keep on trucking for now, I kinda feel like Spider-Man. The media hates us, people hate us, we’re underpaid and overworked, and we still kinda just do it. That’s what I tell myself anyway.”
6. “No one like you.”
“Cop here. It’s horrible.
I’ve been in this job for a long long time. It’s always been the hardest job imo. No one likes you. But now it’s depressing. I feel depressed all the time these days. In one week I went to 9 protests and riots in large cities. I expected to be called a racist and all that. B
ut everyday there were people praying for my kids to die in a fire and rhetoric like that. Every day. All day. For 10 hours. Stand there. Can’t talk. Just get called names. Get spit on, bottle of urine thrown at me. Cops getting murdered. Everyone hates me. It’s fucking depressing.
I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be a police officer now. Like, who is that person? Get ready for a life of divorce, heart problems, a ten year lower life expectancy, a suicide rate triple the average and oh, now everyone hates you too.
That’s what the office is like: depression, fear and anxiety.”
7. My brother.
“My brother is a cop, he hasn’t had a day off in several days and has worked extra time because of protests. Like they call him in the middle of the night even though he just got off work a couple hours ago, kind of extra hours.
He doesn’t complain much (I think he’s too tired to do so) but I know him well enough to be able to tell he’s having a rough time dealing. My sister in law is having a rough time dealing with it too, she’s a nervous person to begin with. I’m legitimately worried that both of them are on the verge of mental breakdowns.
I had wanted to be a cop too a few years ago but I failed the fitness test 4 times before giving up and working security (fuck running).”
8. I love doing it.
“Somebody has to do it.
I love doing it. You see the people who hate us on the internet and TV. But you don’t see the people who love us. They outweigh the bad and and make it worth it.
Nothing is more rewarding in my opinion.”
9. All work.
“I work in a medium town on the outskirts of a large city, we are working 7 days a week right now (84+hrs).
The only thing we have seen from all the protests was a group who broke away from the peaceful protests in the city and started robbing all the Hibbett’s in the area.
Ours was one of the ones hit, and it’s unsettling because I was actually in the parking lot approximately 10 minutes before hand. Cameras in the area showed that the suspects were watching me.
I know this time they just wanted to rob Hibbett’s, but next time they may sneak up behind me and shoot me in the head, as is happening across the country.
It’s enough to keep me from sleeping sometimes.”
“For me it hasn’t been bad at all, and I am thankful for it.
I patrol a predominantly Hispanic city, and people here haven’t protested or acted out in any way.
We had a small group of protesters show up outside city hall last week, but it must have been less than 100, were peaceful, and left to wherever they came from afterwords.
The protesters weren’t from here.”
11. Just doing our best.
“I’m a LEO in the largest department in the US. I can say that everyone is frustrated and tired, by this point mostly tired. Many of us have not had a day off for over a week. Working 12-16 hours.
The daily harassment and vulgar behavior we endure during normal times has been dialed to 11. We get blamed for absolutely everything. Curfew in effect but if we enforce it we are “preventing a peaceful protest.” Looters stealing everything but if we stop them we are “brutalizing protestors.”
Reform is one thing, defunding is another. You get what you pay for. Do we want to pay for an educated, well-trained, and empathic police force? Sure, but this isn’t Disneyland.
A well-educated person would never agree to daily humiliation and degradation for the same salary as a Starbucks employee. A well-trained cop would be doing many of the same things they are doing now (think about that one for a second.) As for empathy, we are police officers.
Not social workers, mental health specialists, homeless outreach, priests, community planners. We deal with people at the lowest moments of their lives and try to bring any amount of closure or healing we can. And here we have the truth.
For every one scumbag piece-of-shit human that made it through a psychological exam and into a police department. There are ten thousand officers that joined to fight back the jungle as hard as they can. To uphold the rule of law, no matter what they or the citizens “feel” about that law.
We aren’t heroes, we aren’t murderers. We are humans doing an impossible job the best we can.”
12. Everyone I know is getting out.
“Work 16 hrs a day. 10,000 people telling you your responsible for all the inequalities in America. I am a fascist, murderous, raping PoS.
My squad gets to stand in a line to get abused by people who hate us and throw bricks and rocks the size of your head at you all day long. Honestly, I’m getting out.
Everyone I know is getting out. I got into this line of work to make a difference and do some good in the world. Clearly the public hates all police and want us gone. One way or another they will get their wish.”
13. Rough stuff.
“Police friend got off at 4am last night only to have to pull glass out of his arm for hours.
Department is experiencing mass quitting. I work in parole/probation. I’ve had people bang on the hoods of our cars.
Constantly feel like there is a target on my back just because we look like police.”
14. The view from Canada.
“Canadian cop here.
Quite honestly, I find the day to day patrol life hasn’t changed where I am much. We’ve had some protests and they were peaceful. Nobody is going out of their way to be belligerent towards us any more than the norm.
This situation has opened my eyes so much to things that I didn’t even realize were an issue, so I’ve changed how I interact with different neighbourhoods, for example I’ve started to patrol on foot in certain pockets and will speak with members of the community rather than drive around in the cruiser because it seems to humanize the perception of police with people who are nervous around us.
The 911 aspect hasn’t changed at all, for the most part we see people on their worst days and I find that when we show up to emergencies, the public is still relieved to see us. The problem itself is much bigger than police but obviously we hold so much power so it’ an excellent place to start.”
15. Small town.
“I work in a rural community of less than 4k people.
Our town has had one protest last week, but thankfully it was peaceful. Everyone knows everyone. Our citizens respect us and show us year round.
I’m so happy I don’t live or work close enough to those higher cities that are getting outside help from other departments. Even seeing all this crap 24/7 online is stressful. ACAB? Ok. Don’t call me then.
There are plenty of people that appreciate our help and NEED it.”
Okay, now we want to hear from readers in the comments.
Tell us what you think about the state of the country right now and what can be done to help fix the many problems we’re facing.
And remember, please keep your comments civil and respectful.