The attacks in Paris have once again reminded us of the pure evil that exists in this world. As American law enforcement agencies continue to struggle with a false narrative that permeates social media, law enforcement leaders need to step up and prepare for what might be. After September 11, 2001 law enforcement officers were at the center of an outpouring of support around the country. I’ll never forget how proud I felt to be part of this profession in the aftermath of those horrific attacks. I stood ready to defend my fellow officers, our communities and our country from the radical misguided beliefs that had attacked the very core of the belief system that made America great.
Over the past two years, I’ve watched as our honorable, noble profession has come under attack. As evidenced by the recent episode in Fox Lake, IL law enforcement officers are far from perfect. We have our share of misguided, even evil, people in this profession. After all, law enforcement officers are human beings. Human beings are capable of making bad decisions. That being said, I would bet there are less “bad cops” than bad teachers, bad pastors, bad doctors, bad politicians, etc. Of course, even one bad cop is too many. It’s the job of every officer at every rank to root out and get rid of unethical or criminal cops.
It’s also our job to change the narrative. To tell the stories of the amazing work being done by countless cops that don’t make the headlines because the story isn’t bloody enough, tragic enough or shocking enough.
The attacks in Paris take us full circle to the time before September 11, 2001. In the midst of arguments that claim law enforcement has become too militarized and other nonsensical debate, our profession’s leaders need to make sure our new “guardian” mindset hasn’t caused our ‘warrior” mindset to be forgotten. The profession needs both, now more than ever. Stand up and be counted. This is our time…