Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tough job being a police officer

One of my biggest fears as a homeowner with children and a dog is my alarm going off due to oldest kid opening door at night (say, she forgot something on deck). I miss the alarm company's call and a police officer shows up to check on things, and my big stupid dog barks his warning of LET'S PLAY that sounds like, Let's get it on. And the officer shoots the dog.

Now, I would be mad, but I know also that police officers are not going to allow themselves to be bitten by a dog. Luckily, I don't own a scary looking dog, except that the lab is big. People tend to give labs a break, I've noticed.

So in Michigan right now we have one community planning an evening protest of a police officer shooting a family pet, in mid-Michigan's St. Louis. Meanwhile, in West Bloomfield a community will mourn the slaying of 39-year-old Patrick O'Rourke, who was shot to death while responding to a domestic disturbance complaint. He is the first officer killed in the line of duty in West Bloomfield.

Now, we expect our police officers to be professional. Too often, though, people use their dogs for aggressive behavior, guarding or fighting, especially in rougher neighborhoods. Stories of officers shooting family dogs are rare, but when they happen, they hurt, because I can't 100 percent disagree with the officer but I'd wish for less deadly outcome.

But police officers get tremendous power and authority in the community and a fair salary (usually, but they do seem to get the appropriate union protections, thank goodness), so that matches the pressure they are under to ALWAYS get it right.

What happened in West Bloomfield shows what they face every minute of every shift when they are out in the public, not knowing which motorist or homeowner will be a killer but being expected to be polite, courteous and helpful to everyone else. It's a shame that we can't remember their pressures when they do make a mistake. It's heartbreaking when someone shows us the worst part of their job, the risk of not making it home.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home