Dear Silent Majority

DSC08925This evening, I had the opportunity to go have a couple of beers with my buddy, The Happy Medic. As we are wont to do, we started telling stories about our various adventures in the realm of public service. At one point, I was struck by a need to talk with the Silent Majority.

If you don’t know what that means, allow me to define it for you.

The Silent Majority are the lion’s share of the citizenry that supports what the police do. They are the ones that line the streets and the overpasses when one of us gives our lives to protect them. They are the ones that drop off cookies at the PD to say thank you. They are the ones that, for whatever reason, don’t defend us in the media, be it traditional or social, but instead consciously decide to stay quiet for fear of offending or for fear of upsetting the apple cart.

You are the ones to whom I direct this missive.

After nearly 16 years, I feel no small comfort in speaking for those of my ilk. Those that leave their families to defend yours. Those that put their personal lives aside, at great peril, to ensure your safety. I am not addressing the vocal minority that disparage and degrade what we do and who we are. They are not the intended audience.

You are. My readers. My friends.

We need you.

I need you.

All too often lately, I am inundated by negativity in the social sphere. I see nothing but derision and hatred for who I am. For what I do.

I, and those I serve with, decide to leave our loved ones every single day. We don’t know if we will return to our homes. The homes in which we are loved, the homes that provide us support and affection. We certainly don’t do it for money. We don’t do it for accolades. Regardless of what popular culture and the mainstream media would like you to think, we aren’t hateful, power-hungry people.

Asinine is the person that takes this gig with delusions of grandeur and ultimate power.

It doesn’t exist. It is a fool’s pipe dream.

I don’t write to you tonight with the hopes that you will comment and tell me I’m a swell guy. I don’t need your pity nor your pats on the back. I am writing to you for much bigger reasons.

I want to talk with you about your Silence.

Your Silence is deafening and it is weakening the resolve our police officers. Going to work each day to “support your brothers and sisters” works for quite some time…but that time is finite. The Vocal are trying as hard as they can to counteract anything you may hope to accomplish by your cookie delivery or your seldom “thank you” uttered to a uniformed officer.

The time has come to be Silent no more. I know in my heart, in my very soul, that I am not alone in feeling the undertow of malice that the Vocal are trying their damnedest to suck us all into. I have just a few weeks over four years before I punch my ticket and hit retirement. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t generations behind me waiting to pick up the mantle I very much look forward to setting down.

Oh, Silent Majority, you will do yourself a great disservice by letting the Vocal continue their verbal (and often physical) battery of my future brothers and sisters. You can’t let them be whittled down faster than generations past.

Your first responders need you. They need you to overthrow the Vocal and be Silent no more. Take back the Vocal moniker from those that would use it to whittle us down, to break our will, to destroy us.

Your time is now. You can turn this tide. You can do more than say “Thank You”. You can do more than stand on the side of the road as hundreds of us ride by to bury another brother. You can express your support.

Loudly.

You can drown out the cacophony of misguided and opportunistic fools that decided to capitalize on tragedy to further their own agenda.

When I see friends and family posting what they fully believe are legitimate questions of the “establishment”, but don’t take into consideration the facts or differing perspectives, it is both personally painful and disappointing as well as frustrating. That doesn’t mean I am dismissing legitimate concerns or legal questions.

Quite the opposite.

I am all for mature discussion about legal issues in which both sides are respectful and open-minded. I have changed my opinion a time or two and I fully expect those I interact with to be open to the possibility they may have been misinformed as well.

To the point, I recently spoke with a woman who happens to be of African descent. We were able to sit down for 30 minutes and talk like two adults about the current state of community relations. It was one of the better conversations I’ve had in my law enforcement career.

Do you know why?

Because I knew the bottom line was she supports the WHY of my job. She supports me. And if I worked in her community, I believe she knows that I would be willing to sacrifice my life to protect her.

You can see that conversation here.

In conclusion, Silent Majority, I pray that you sincerely consider my request to drop the Silent and take back the Vocal. I can’t tell you the positive impact it would have on your police department. 99.7% of the men and women that have taken the oath to protect and serve meant every word of it. It would behoove you to let the world know you support them.

None of us likes the 0.03% of the cops that suck. Believe me. We want them gone just as much as you do. If for no other reason than they drag the rest of us down.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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25 thoughts on “Dear Silent Majority

  1. I wish I was the type that knew how to rally together alot of people to go out and protest FOR the police, I’m just inept in that area but if I can gather any number we would gladly go out and show support loudly. . The media doesn’t want to hear from us either I believe, they prefer the bad stuff over the good

  2. I’m behind you, in spirit, and in reality when police come through the ER. I’m not behind the jackasses who didn’t do CPR on Eric Garner, or shot a twelve year old who was too stupid/unsupervised to play toy guns in private. I assume most officers feel the same way I do. What can we (all of us) do to make this better?

  3. As a granddaughter, niece, daughter, wife and cousin of LEOs and having worked in my fair share of PDs, trust me when I say I am damn vocal. And losing friends at a rapid pace. ❤

  4. I support the police, loudly and publicly. But as Jon Stewart recently said, “You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards.”

    I still support the police even after I’ve had friends cuffed for telling a cop “Nice stop” when the cop rolled through a stop sign. I still support the police even after nearly been hit by them trying to cross the street (my crippled ass ain’t fast enough). I still support the police despite repeated cases where cops have done horrific things.

    See that last paragraph you wrote? That’s the one YOU and YOUR BRETHREN need to be saying more often. That’s not what the public hears. The public too often sees either cops saying nothing about the bad cop or trying to excuse the behaviour. The problem then becomes that society can’t tell the difference between “bad cop and coverup” and “bad situation that can actually be explained” and it all looks bad.

    And, yes, part of the problem IS race. It’s a fact that minorities are arrested and convicted more often than white people. Social studies show that if someone is doing something that looks illegal, people won’t do anything if that person is white. So, society is the base problem, but the police should be at the front of fixing that problem, not reinforcing it.

    Lastly, I’m going to call you out on your “conversation” with that woman. You are repeating this inappropriately. This one woman is not the representative of all black Americans. You are doing the equivalent of “Some of my friends are [whatever]” and that’s just not right.

    • I have to disagree with some of your comment. “Social studies” are crap. I work in law enforcement and we have way more whites and Hispanics in our jail than blacks. A majority are white. I worked in the jail and now work in the court system. And far more whites are convicted than blacks. This is in the county in which I live. That county being in Texas! A large majority of the things people expect law enforcement to fix or change is something they personally do not control. Most of it is law that is written by politicians that sit in their safe little office. The only reason law enforcement is involved is because like any other job it is A JOB! A job that requires you to enforce the laws that elected officials choose to write, some of which police officers think are ridiculous. The government and spciety as a whole need to get it together. Running around killing people based on color, religion , sex or what job they have is completely idiotic!

  5. All of what you state is likely true. However, I would like to add that I truly believe (from past experiences) that some law enforcement types are directly responsible for causing others to reside among the silent majority because, sometimes when “friends and fam­ily post­ing what they fully believe are legit­i­mate ques­tions” about a police officer’s conduct, they run right smack-dab into that big blue wall of defiance, contempt, often politically right-leaning vitriol, and sometimes overt racism, for having the audacity to shine a bright light on what they perceive as being illegality commited by a police officer.

    Thank you Janet Mulhern for access to this article by liking it.

  6. It’s the 99% of bad cops that ruin it for the rest. I wouldn’t kid yourself too much that it’s the “lion’s share” any more.

  7. I think the problem is that the silent majority is silent because we aren’t a bunch of whiny entitled pansies. We’re silent because in general we don’t complain, we just go to work and fix the problems in our lives. So how do we become more vocal? I’ve tried discussing in public forums, and it seems that the very vocal minority will not consider any other opinions or perspectives, nor will they see where they’re misinformed, or the thoughts that have been misconstrued. So how do we make our perspectives known?

  8. I absolutely without a doubt respect and admire our Law Enforcement. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem enough. I feel blessed and grateful beyond belief that there are people who put their life on the line to serve, help and protect us. It is something I never could do. It is huge. Monumental. Priceless. It angers me to no end that there are people that don’t. There are people that hurt and kill you. That completely disrespect you. It is shameful and it saddens me immensely. For those people that judge the whole by a small few sicken me too. Silent I am not. Silent I will never be. And I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed reading your article. I am really glad I found you on Facebook. I so look forward to reading more.

  9. “None of us likes the 0.03% of the cops that suck” Then why do we not see them going to jail?
    Instead we see them on the news getting medals and shooting someones dog at the wrong address, throwing people onto the ground without cause.(http://www.ryot.org/video-ellen-dance-dare-goes-horribly-wrong-nypd-prankster-alexander-bok/902073)
    How much longer do we endure the “Report of a suspicious Indian in a pickup truck.” Detentions and searches???
    An Officer pulls over another officer for endangering OUR Public and has her life devastated.
    I Support the Blue and the Tan, but sometimes I Don’t feel you support me, I am not as important as covering your partner. “DON’T BREAK RANKS” has a price.
    YOUR Silence begets mine.
    Without accountability there can be no trust.

  10. My attitude towards the police has changed a lot over the years. A lot of that is thanks to this blog and where it has led me. I have several friends in LE and it has made me a much better friend to them. I cannot thank MC and his fellow LE bloggers enough for opening my eyes and giving me insight into their world.

    I am always happy to see an officer, even if I’m in “trouble”. I feel relaxed, I feel safe, I’ll even crack a joke or two. I always make it a point to come up to them and tell them thank you and to give them a friendly wave or a thumbs up and a smile when I’m out driving.

    and I know I’d be just as willing to put myself in harm’s way to protect them as they would be for me. Even though I am not part of their family, I am a friend and an ally. If I ever see one in trouble, I will do all I can to assist.

    Whenever I have seen this false narrative and rhetoric being used against police officers, I have and always will continue to speak out against it. Frequently when I do I do so alone, as what I have to say is “unpopular” , but occasionally I will get a “like” or an “upvote” here and there, occasionally I’ll break through and reason with someone… and what I write will lead someone down the same path that led me here today.

    LE and regular folk alike have the same priorities. We’re a team working together to keep our communities safe and to keep the bad guys off our streets.

    I hope more folks hear your call and speak up as well.

  11. Thank you. As the father of to men in Law Enforcement, I am definitly not silent . Everyone knows where I stand on Law enforcement issues. All We can hope and pray for is that some are listening and learning. Thank you again because you have a much bigger audience than I. Keep it up!