I gotta be careful in what I say here. But I have to say I’m upset. Perhaps I’m wrong. Tell me if I’m off base. Here’s what happened:
Our last remaining police officer in town, a really good guy whose passion is to serve and protect, was down at the courthouse of the county in the neighboring town when a call came in for the nearest vehicle to offer assistance to an officer in distress. He was the nearest, so he did, for as long as he was needed, which was only a short time. Then he went back to what he was doing. Great. That’s what I would expect.
Blue uniform? Black uniform? Brown uniform? Undercover? Doesn’t matter. When an officer is in distress and puts out an “officer needs assistance” call for the nearest vehicle, not only does that vehicle show up, but all others who can possibly get there even if they are not the nearest: city police of whatever city, deputies of the county, forest service police, tribal federal police, DEA, et alii. The last thing we need is for an “officer down” call to go in minutes later because the nearest officer did not respond for specious reasons.
Our last remaining officer was, however, publicly severely castigated, in print, for having spent a few minutes coming to the aid of an officer in need. He was even given a disciplinary measure. Just. Wow.
Our new Mayor, who appointed himself interim Police Chief with exactly zero training and zero experience, said, at least according to the local newspaper: “I totally understand backing up other officers that are in distress, but it puts us at a liability to the town.” Just. Wow. “A liability.” Reading between the lines the rest of what the Mayor said, it looks like our last remaining police officer is on his way out of the police force, leaving no one but the Mayor to do the policing, but – Hey! – he’s the Chief, you know, with exactly zero training and zero experience. Talk about a liability. Maybe our officer will survive. We’ll see.
I’ll tell you this, if any law enforcement officer is being smashed down by violent criminals with no help in sight, I’m going to stop and offer assistance regardless of what any Mayor says, even if it’s in his town. Correction. Even if it’s in my town. Our town. Borders like that don’t matter when someone – whoever – is in distress.