The vast majority of the American public supports you. That's right, they stand in your corner.
However, there is a small segment of the population that is not supportive, and they have a "plan." Your career will be much smoother if you can understand this. Read carefully...
Lately, I have been studying videos made by the public when recording the police. Many of those who film will actually go to police departments and try to "draw out" the officers to engage them in a conversation. Their hope is to get the officer to do or say something that will get them in some kind of trouble.
These folks do not have your best interest in mind. Their hope is that you will say or do something that is unlawful - or a violation of your department's policy.
Remember this: their intent is to GET UNDER YOUR SKIN." If they succeed, they will win. And time after time, as I review these videos, they win. The officer loses his cool, and then says or does something he regrets.
Fellow officer; I beg you to hear me. I spent 35 years on the street, and I would be the first to admit that this is easier said than done.
The public has its share of men and women who crave attention. And they have you in their crosshairs.
You MUST understand the MOTIVES of these people. In reality, they have no concern for the First Amendment - and their knowledge of the law is embarrassing. They are usually in their 20's or 30s, and the hate and anger can be seen in their face. Put simply, they want to video you, and then post it on their internet channel.
YOU HAVE TO REMIND YOURSELF OF THIS OFTEN. Talk to yourself when you approach them, warn yourself with a whisper to not allow them under your skin. Smile, and then "kill them with kindness." Doing this will aggravate them to no end. Their goal is to make a fool of you. Don't let them win.
Remember, these are self-made lawyers who have never cracked a law book.
They are like the men who eventually cried out for the death of Jesus who, we are told, "...wanted to trap him (Jesus) into saying something they could use against him" (Luke 11:54).
DO ... NOT ... LET ... THEM ... WIN ...
Permit me to add one final word. You may be a Christian officer, or pure pagan. That's your business. But let me suggest something to you that helped me down through the years...
Before every encounter with the public, ask for God's help. Simply whisper a prayer, and he may well give you a quick injection of grace. I experienced this many times.
It may be fresh news to you, but the God of heaven is the most pro-police Person in the universe! He stands with you. He delights to help you. He knows what it is to be cursed at and hated.
I encourage you to adopt the attitude he had when he walked the earth: "And Jesus trusted NO man" (John 2:25).
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