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WHAT IS A POLICE OFFICER?

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Sir,

Cops are human beings (believe it or not) just like the rest of us. They come in both sexes but mostly male. They also come in various sizes. This sometimes depends on whether you are looking for one or trying to hide something. However, they are mostly big.  Cops are found everywhere- on land, in the sea, in the air, on horses, in cars. In spite of the fact that you can’t find one when you want one, they are usually there when it counts most. The best way to get one is to pick up the phone. Cops deliver lectures, babies, good news and bad news. They are required to have the wisdom of Solomon, the disposition of a lamb, and muscles of steel, and are often accused of having a heart to match.

Knocks

He’s the one who knocks at your door, swallows hard and announces the passing of a loved one; then spends the rest of the day wondering why he ever took such a crummy job. Cops are expected to find a little blonde who has just vanished into thin air. In fiction, he gets help from private eyes, reporters, and Who done-it fans. In real life, mostly all he gets from the public is ‘I didn’t see anything’. When he serves a summon, he’s a monster. If he lets you go, he’s a doll. To little children, he’s either a friend or bogeyman, depending how parents feel about it.

Split

He works around the clock, split shifts, Sundays and holidays, and it always kills him when a joker says, ‘Hey, tomorrow is Election Day, I’m off, let’s go fishing’. (That’s the day he works 20 hours). A cop is like the little girl, who, when she was good, was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid. When a cop is good, he’s getting paid for it. When he makes a mistake, he’s a grafer, and that goes for the rest of them too. When he shoots a stickup man, he’s a hero, except when the stickup man is only a kid: Anybody could have seen that.
 Lots of them have homes, some of them covered with corrugated irons or even thatches. If he drives a big car, he’s a chiseler, a little car, who’s he kidding? His credit is good; this is very helpful, because his salary isn’t. Cops raise lots of kids; most of them belong to other people.

A cop sees more misery, bloodshed, trouble, and sunrises than the average person. Like the postman, cops must also be out in all kinds of weather. His uniforms change with the climate, but his outlook on life remains the same; mostly a blank, but hoping for a better world. Cops like days off, vacations, and coffee. They don’t like family fights, and anonymous callers. They have staff associations but they can’t strike. They must be impartial, courteous, and always remember the slogan, ‘at your service’. This is sometimes hard, especially when a character reminds him; ‘I’m a taxpayer, I pay your salary’. Cops get medals for saving lives, stopping runaway cars, and shooting it out with bandits. But sometimes, the most rewarding moments come when, after some small kindness to an older person, he feels the warm hand clasp, looks into grateful eyes and hears, ‘Thank you and God bless you, son! May God bless cops’!

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