Recently, there has been much talk, written word, protest and civil disobedience regarding several alleged incidents of police brutality across the country. I do not seek to analyze these events or offer opinion on such except to say that undoubtedly, as long as there are police officers, there will be cases of abuse of power and excessive and unwarranted force. Like others, I am disgusted by such barbaric and unwarranted behavior.
With that said, there is no better system of protection out there and if you think there is…the next time you are in trouble or need help-try calling your local grocer, pizza delivery guy or florist. The fact is, being a law enforcement officer, anywhere, is a difficult job at best.
In consideration of this and to prove my point, I have taken the liberty of creating a sample job description for new candidates for the Southampton Town Police Department (this posting applies to any of our local, East End police departments).
Southampton Town Police Department Unofficial Job Posting for Police Officer Candidates
1. Candidate must be able to pass NASCAR Driving School test because in order to respond to those in need, they will routinely have to drive at excessive speeds in heavy traffic.
2. Candidate must have extensive training in psychology because they will have to use this skill to diffuse escalating situations.
3. Candidate must have UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) skills because they will occasionally have to fight combatants in order to protect themselves and others.
4. Candidate must be able to demonstrate proficiency and responsibility with various weapons including guns (stun and other), baton, mace, etc.
5. Candidate must be in good physical shape to facilitate foot chases and traffic control (standing in the middle of the road, directing traffic in all types of weather).
6. Candidate must be able to tolerate the site of blood and mutilated or fatally injured bodies.
7. Candidate must have excellent clerical skills as there is extensive paperwork involved.
8. Candidate must have excellent verbal communication skills necessary to control situations (also see psychology training).
9. Candidate must be able to take criticism because many people do not like them.
10. The rest of the requirements, 1,286 in all, will be disclosed at the time of interview.
Just how difficult is it to be a police officer on the East End? Pretty damn hard if you ask me.
Easily 99 percent or more of dedicated men and women in law enforcement deserve more than being characterized as being “brutal racists.” I, and I hope everyone else, will continue to despise the actions of those very limited number of officers who are abusers of their responsibilities. However, the next time I come across a local East End police officer, I am going to walk over to them, shake their hand and thank them for their service. They deserve that.