The current climate in this country is fraught with anger, angst, and precariously poised over the abyss of anarchy. Like you, I’ve had no shortage of emotion in reaction to not only the recent execution of two unsuspecting and innocent officers of the NYPD. I’ve shared column after column and post after most on the Facebook page and seen those posts literally reach tens of thousands of people.
I don’t say that as a point of pride, but as a reality check. It means I’m not alone. And neither are you.
What follows is a guest post from Scott Forsythe, a 6 year veteran Policeman in New York’s Dutchess and Westchester counties and a 14 year veteran of the National Guard. He has some extraordinarily valid points that we would all do well to keep in mind.
His perspective does not apply solely to the NYPD deaths, but to the growing disconnect between the public and its police officers. Between the police and the perception they have of themselves.
Without further ado:
A Call To Arms…
By PO Scott Forsythe WCPD
Over the last few days, I’ve heard many “answers” and “reactions” within the police community to the current climate following the death of NYPD Officers Ramos and Liu on December 20th, 2014. I quote these because I don’t agree with the majority of them. Before I go any further, I’d like to point out this is not directed to the NYPD. You thirty-seven thousand brothers and sisters lost two of your own to cold-blooded murder and I’ll defend anything you decide to do. You send the message you need to send to your Mayor anyway you see fit. This is simply what I’ll be doing and what I think is right for the rest of us. This is a call to arms, but not what you may be thinking.
Our family is hurting and many feel the need to shout “This is War!” or conversely, “Let’s not be proactive at all, that’ll teach them!”. Well, I’ve got some news for you family, we’ve been at war since that first bobby walked to his post in England in 1829, you just may not have known it. You didn’t wake up this morning in a war zone, you’ve been part of it since the academy. You may have gone through your entire career and never pointed your gun at someone or be a constable in some sleepy, picture perfect town in the mid-west. You may be in a specialized unit where you don’t see the road or work security for a courtroom. Campus Police, DC police, Feds.
Everyone holding tin, stop reading right now and reach in your pocket and touch it…we have never stopped being at war with the people looking to do others harm. 114 Officers dead this year with one of us going down about every three days. That’s a war if I’ve ever heard one. Should you be paranoid? Should you not eat in public or always have someone facing the door? Should you be scanning waists and faces everywhere you go? Parking with your back to the water or wall? Should you be wearing that armor and cleaning that gun you only shoot once a year? Yes, but you should have been doing this your entire career because again, we’re at war. My call to arms? ACT LIKE IT.
If we pull back now, just like in any war throughout history, the enemy will gain ground. Think it’s all talk? How many more brothers and sisters will the Blue Flu save? Zero. Officers Ramos and Liu were eating lunch when a man walked up to their car and murdered them. Let’s give each other a fighting chance and do our jobs, and do them well because you just might stop the next murderer before they get where they’re going. I owe it to Ramos’s two kids to do that. We all owe the families of every Officer ever taken prematurely from this earth to keep fighting this war.
Lastly, don’t fall in the trap of thinking our enemy is a new one. Do you really think any one of these protesters or keyboard warriors didn’t hate us two months ago? Not a chance, now it’s just socially acceptable to scream it publicly at the top of their lungs. They were behind you in line when you were getting coffee, glaring at you while you were on your phone explaining to a livid spouse you were going to be late again because of a late call. They’ve been around us our entire careers but now much like when scientists discovered germs for the first time, we see them. They’ve called because they think they’re holding a winning hand. Yes, we see them and for many of us, we see them for the first time. Let them hate, they are not necessarily the enemy nor is any one group, race, religion. The enemies are those wishing to do others harm and to those I say; bring it. More of us are ready for you now than ever.
I hope that tin I asked you to touch is on you, or in front of you right now. That makes you part of my family. You family is part of my family too and it,s for you and yours that I’m going to continue to do my job as well as I can. There is no more room for the lazy or the useless and if that’s you, it’s time to call it quits. So yes, this is a call to arms my family. Go out and push hard, look for those who wish to harm us and the community. Show the world what we do to wolves and know that if I ever hear you in need there is nothing on the planet that will stop me from getting to you. We are family.