The Gray Line Tour

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 11, 2001


Lousy cop talks I was brought up to respect police officers and I also respect the hard work and sacrifice a career in law enforcement brings. With this in mind, a deputy friend of mine passed along this tidbit called, “Me, The Lousy Cop.” Well, Mr. Citizen, I guess you’ve got me figured out. I seem to fit neatly into the category you placed me in. I’m stereotyped, characterized, standardized, classified, grouped and always typical. I’m the Lousy Cop. Unfortunately, the reverse isn’t true. I can never figure you out. From birth, you teach your children that I’m a bogeyman and they are shocked when they learn and identify me with my traditional enemy, the criminal. You raise Cain about the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but let me catch you doing the same thing and it’s picking on you. You know all the traffic laws, but you never got the single ticket you deserved. You accuse me of coddling juveniles, until I catch your kid doing something. Then, I’m “badge-happy.” You take an hour for lunch and several coffee breaks each day but point me out as a loafer if you see me having just one cup. You pride yourself on your polished manners but think nothing of interrupting my meal at noon with your troubles. You shout foul if you observe me driving en route to an emergency call but literally raise hell if I take more than 10 seconds responding to your call. You’re a witty conversationalist, but you bore me stiff at social gatherings with your vast knowledge of law enforcement. You call it part of my job if someone strikes me, but it’s police brutality if I strike back. You wouldn’t think of telling your dentist how to pull a decayed tooth, or your doctor how to take out your appendix, but you are always willing to give me a few pointers on law enforcement. You talk to me in a manner, and use language that would assure a bloody nose from anybody else, but you expect me to stand and take it without batting an eye. You cry, “Something has to be done about all this crime,” but of course, you can’t be bothered with getting involved. And what about the guy who works all night, making sure you did not forget to lock up your business or home when you left on vacation? You’ve got no use for me at all, but of course, it’s OK if I change a tire for your wife, or deliver your child in the back seat of my patrol car on the way to the hospital, save your son’s life with mouth-to-mouth resusication or maybe work many hours overtime to find your lost daughter. So, Mr. Citizen, you stand there on your soapbox and rant and rave about the way I do my job, calling me every name in the book, but never stop for a minute to think that your property, your family or maybe your life might depend on one thing – ME or one of my buddies. Yes, Mr. Citizen, MEā€¦The Lousy Cop. LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur.