I’ve notice a disturbing trend over the past few months. Â There seems to have been a noticeably steady decline in the number of law enforcement bloggers in the interwebs.
Now, I know darn well that I’m not the only cop with something to say. Â Hell, I listen to them say stuff all day every day. Â So where’d they all go? Â I only have four on my “Can I get a Code 2 assist” blogroll. Â Two of them appear to be down for the count. Â GraveYard Dog is MIA and “Smith” dropped off as well.
I’ve made more connections in the EMS world through blogging than my own brothers/sisters. Â Don’t get me wrong, I’m forever grateful to the EMS-types, but a guy needs to rub elbows with his folk, you know?
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen good cop bloggers go down for the count. Â Sometimes they revive in different forms with new titles and sometimes they just take a hiatus for reasons unrelated to blogging. Â But, I have to think a lot of it lies with the Powers That Be and the kinds of things we cops tend to blog about.
I’m no expert in the field of blogging. Â Far from it. Â I have, however, been at it for 3 1/2 years and have developed what I see as a loyal, supportive, and engaging audience of readers. Â So, why am I still around? Â I didn’t start out writing the same as I do now. Â Go back and read my early stuff…I was angry and I didn’t have much of a censor button.
There is one solid premise I
always mostly adhered to, though. Â I don’t talk crazy about my department and I don’t talk trash about the people with whom I work directly. Â That last bit is mostly true…I once posted about a fellow copper that I stopped and how it played out. Â It didn’t go over well and that copper got bent out of shape and wasn’t particularly interested in hearing the whys and wherefores of the post after being directed to said post (which has since been removed).
I think the problem lies in that cops are bitchy by nature. Â You trying dealing with the kinds of things we see day in and day out and see if you don’t develop a bit of a chip. Â That and we aren’t really great at censoring ourselves when left to our own devices. Â Consequently, when you dangle to ability to vent “anonymously” in front of some of us, we leap on it like a rabid ocelot (by far the most dangerous of rabid animals). Â The fallout from that can be fairly difficult to overcome.
You think I don’t have issues with my department? Â You’re insane. Â I could go off on quite the articulate little jag about compensation, staffing, equipment, resources and so on and so forth. Â There are always issues in the law enforcement world and there always will be. Â It’s what you do with what you have and how you handle it that are going to define your day, your attitude, and how you’re perceived. Â At the end of the day, I know on which side my bread is buttered and I choose not to voice my opinions (usually) about the Man that butters that bread. Â My folks raised an idiot, but it wasn’t me.
Shit. Â I’m an only child.
At any rate, my advice to would-be/aspiring law enforcement bloggers is this: don’t use the interwebs as your vacuous space in which all you do is yell about all the wrongs thrust upon you. Â A) No one cares. Â B) Your boss will find out about it. Â C) It makes for really lousy reading. Â Listen, people love cop stories. Â They hate us, but they love our stories. Â The Wife says I’m always a hit at parties as soon as my job enters into the discussion because regular folks very seldom get to talk to a cop. Â Instead of whining about the Major (no my department doesn’t have majors) that is a real a-hole, give folks an inside scoop about what your job is like.
Listen, I’m not saying you can’t talk about how you feel about your job. Â Lord knows I do that all the time. Â People just want to know there’s a heart behind that badge (I mean if you’re not a motor…we leave ours in the locker when we go 10-8). Â Show them you can laugh…both at them and at yourself.
So, it appears I need to replenish my Code 2 Assist blogroll. Â Who’s got something for me?
*Don’t misunderstand…I don’t know the details about either “Smith” or GYD, but I don’t think either of them did the things I advise against above. Â I was speaking much bigger picture. Â Carry on.