I recently saw that activists want to see changes to police TV shows and movies. They call such shows “problematic.” Given what has happened this past summer, they say police procedural shows present a false portrayal of heroic, honest police officers. They want to see more police shows in line with what they say we’ve learned about police from cases like those of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
In other words, they want to see police shows that make the cops look bad. They want them to be shown as corrupt protectors of a racist and unjust system and shown bashing the heads of and oppressing people of color.
You know what? There are things I’d like to see police shows do. I don’t think what I want would be what the activists want, but it would show a more complete picture of police work.
I’d like to see the police arriving on the scene of a terrible auto accident. We should see the shattered bodies, just as they see them. We could show the officers comforting the victims and the survivors. That’s part of police work.
How about showing police officers having to go to someone’s home and inform them that a loved one has been killed in an accident, or is in the hospital in serious condition as a crime victim? That’s also part of police work.
We could show officers responding to a domestic violence call, and knowing there’s nothing they can do because the victim won’t press charges against the abuser. Police officers often encounter this.
We could show them having to clean up after drug overdoses, violent crimes and suicides. None of these are pleasant, but officers must deal with them.
I’d like to see an officer pulling someone over or responding to a disturbance call and encountering someone who’s drunk, disorderly and calls the officer everything but a Child of God. Officers have to deal with this, too, and they are expected to keep their cool.
On the positive side, we could show officers talking armed suspects into giving themselves up so no one gets hurt. That happens far more often than suspects getting shot.
We could also show officers giving out candy and toys to disadvantaged children at Christmas and other holidays. For some of these kids, this will be their most positive contact with law enforcement. Some of them only see officers when they come to take their parents to jail.
I’d like to see a school resource officer who works with young people to steer them away from drugs, gangs and violence. There are many dedicated officers who work with young people because they care about them, and they want them to have some positive contact with law enforcement.
Perhaps what I’m trying to say is what the activists want are TV shows and movies that are as skewed in their portrayal of the police as they shows they are complaining about. They see the influence of the police as purely negative, and fail to see law enforcement for what it really is.
The fact is, police officers have to see and experience things the vast majority of the rest of us would never want to see or experience. It’s true that they run in when others are trying to run out. It’s a tough, often thankless job that never ends. Yet, they do it because they care.
I often see this spirit of caring for their communities in the things I see officers do with young people. There was a reason that Jose Martinez, Parker’s long-time school resource officer, was named to lead the 2020 graduation parade in the year of his retirement. He had a very positive impact on young people in his work with the schools.
Parker’s new resource officer, William Lucas, has become the resource officer for the same high school he attended, Parker High.
The activists have a completely negative view of law enforcement and its role in society. They can’t see what a tough, dangerous job it is. They also can’t see the officers who, despite being exposed to society’s worst elements, try to still create some good in the world.
Maybe that would make a good TV show.