Pigs, Fuzz and 5-0: A Cop Commentary.
Numerous times, I have seen the same irking event occur: At night, I’ll pull up to a red light. I’m the only car at the intersection, besides the one directly across from me, which has been waiting at the red light longer than I have. I notice the car looks… official. The car’s headlights’ shape and forwards brightness are resonating a negative space outline that are hinting towards a police cruiser. All of a sudden, FLASHING LIGHTS AND SIRENS. Having a minor panic attack in my mind, I go through my mental checklist of low-level felonies. Seatbelt? On. Lights? On. How fast was I going? Wait, I’m stopped. I’m going zero. That can’t be it. Ok, pull over. Wait, I’m still stationary, I can’t pull over any farther. WHAT’S GOING ON??????????????
The traffic signal remains red. The “cherries” keeping rolling like encased roulette balls on the top of the cop car. He guns it off the line. He’s through the intersection; oh he must’ve got a call… a murder, a drug bust, or something. Wow, I sure had that situation pegged wrong. Go get ‘em offic… hey, wait a second, he’s turned his lights off and slowed to a normal speed again…curious…did he just run that red light because….just ‘cause he could??????????????
People don’t like cops. That’s just the way it is. That’s not to say that the actual human beings who fill out the police uniforms are not great individuals. I have at least 2 friends that I can think of offhand that are officers, and they’re good dudes. I even know one cop that pulls double duty as a hockey referee; a fairly natural transition when you think about it. But the fact is, that everytime someone sees a cop in most any situation, they go through a similar checklist that I do of things they may have done wrong, and/or rattle off a list of obscenities either mentally or very, very verbally (sometimes even in the vicinity of said officer, usually with an added pork reference. I think NWA still does it best). A firefighter who has just fought a forest fire threatening the city will receive a much different reception upon being recognized than a police officer who has just saved the city from yet another…illegally parked vehicle (obviously cops break up far more serious incidents, but for humor’s sake, please allow it). They come out with all manners of avenues to catch us: cars in both regular and “ghost” editions, bikes that come in both motor and pedal versions, boats, helicopters, and even golf carts. If I didn’t know they were trying to catch bad-guys, I’d say these people were bonfide stalkers ( I guess that is what a P.I. is).
Cops serve a vital purpose: they keep us all in line (or at least, valiantly attempt to). The problem is that no one likes being kept in line. No one likes being told what to do, and no one enjoys receiving a little piece of paper that says they have to pay a dollar amount or else appear in court to explain why they ________ (<–insert violation here). We love to watch cops catch bad guys on TV (how many crime dramas are on TV now? 1000ish?), but when our real life becomes a misdemeanour (hopefully not greater) and a cop is around to see it, we sure do hope we don’t start hearing the “Bad Boys” theme song from Cops, see ourselves on the evening news, or have our case re-enacted on an episode of Law and Order.
I can only imagine the excuses from friends that a new cop will start to hear after these friends learn he or she’s graduated from police academy. “Hey, congrats man, that’s great…so if you didn’t hear, I’m actually moving away…” “Friday? Oh yeah, we’re not going out anymore, yeah sorry we cancelled it…” you know, things to that tune. Or even in actual social situations…
“Oh no, there’s Bob! He’s a cop now! Quick, hide…everything!”
“But we’re not doing anything illegal…”
“Shut up, just be cool, act normal!”
“Bob! What’s up man? Long time no see! How are ya! Can I buy you a…non-alcoholic beverage?”
In the interest of fairness (and not having my car “marked” and/or not being tazered or anything like that), you have to admit that cops do a lot of good. The thing is that the situations which cops bust people for are (usually) crimes, at whatever level. Their job is to enforce a law that our government has put in place. So whether you think that your speeding ticket is cash grab to fill a quota or not, realize that no matter how many km/h you were going over the limit, even 1 is illegal (never mind the unwritten 10km/h grace zone). You’ve probably gotten more breaks than you realize. I know I’m thankful for the last 2 consecutive warnings I’ve been handed (albeit none of the previous non-warnings though). Being a police officer is a necessary and nearly thankless job. I doubt that I could do it myself. At least do yourselves the favor of breaking the stereotype and not stopping into EVERY donut shop you come in contact with.