THE POLICE OFFICER TODAY
A police officer is also called a law enforcer. He must know therefore the law since it is his prime duty, his foremost job actually, to enforce its majestic rumination including its nuances and social implications. Hence, he must be trained not only on the way how a lawyer should, but also as an officer of the court and at the same time as a community leader. He is the epitome of social justice, a symbol for peace and order, a catalyst and saviour.
But that is not the way he was oriented or what it was done to him in his school. He was taught to fight. He must endure hardship through endless drills and survive some kind of fraternity initiation. He must familiarize himself and understand brutality the way he would experience it. And he must pass token academics only through the encouragement on the use of wiles and through the realities of scholastic bargaining.
The cadet believes that overcoming life in college or in the academy would be a rewarding field full of romance, cinematic thrills and gross physical actions. His perception of his course would convince him that he could not go wrong since he is almost at par with of law, that which he is crusading. He has the egocentric notion of having the upper hand always. He is armed and trained to subdue anyone. He was educated to presume that ordinary citizens depend on them. In their basic learning, they would consider the people are gullible and vulnerable and they are supposed to be their champion. Hence, those with business to protect wanted to have a kin or a family member employed in the police department to protect and further their interests. Those who are fledging and economically challenged wanted also their children to be members of the police force to move up to the ladder of fiscal success.
There was a time in the past when the short cut to prosperity was through crime. It was the constable, the local police who would frustrate the growing social menace. The police was there to nip the criminal bud at the onset. The police then was a neighbourhood fixture promoting peace and order.
Then, the police force was absorbed into the mainstream of martial law machinations. Those trained in War College, those who graduated in PMA, all soldiers trained in combat, suddenly found another area to be integrated in: the police force. Subsequently, the police department became an enclave of warriors and naturally, the civilian community became their battleground.
Not to be outdone, regular police officers who were eased out of management came up with the idea of having their own police academy to compete with PMA. PNPA was born but it was a clone and its orientation almost a leaf torn from its PMA template. The result is the same. Those who would graduate would likewise believe that they are warriors too and that their principal mandate was warfare. One may notice the fact that even in the use of uniforms; one is confused on its ordinate use except for the badge and shoulder plates.
The police would rather apply the terms of their ranks according to military usage. They would rather be called as Colonel than Superintendents, or Captains, Majors, Sergeants than anything else. Police delight to be seen and perceived as military officers. They would even design their insignias according to combat flair. And they have this myopic understanding that those outside their realm are either enemies or victims, not as clients or patrons.
With this as perspective, the police go about town wishing for an enemy to materialize. They wanted action, like that which can be seen in war movies. They must empty their magazines, bullet blazing and as soon as the smoke clears, whadaheck if there are civilians slain in the process, it is just part of the job, military style, very war like and even jurisprudence would held that such engagement is part of legal territory. And so the police are emboldened to presume that they are at war in the midst of the civilian neighbourhood.
On top of their community work, the police would be trained like special forces and given assignments as body guards of influential people. They would get a close look at how people in high places would conduct their nefarious business. This is one crime which they would rather participate since the take is great. As a consequence, they become a party in the making of shenanigans. That would likewise introduce them to a criminal lifestyle. Something they could pass on to their peers and their subordinates.
Henceforth, nobody believes the truism that crime does not pay anymore. Criminality was no longer a street corner preoccupation. It has grown into an institution that even at the top echelon of affluence, crime is at the core and at the very foundation. It is supported by a specially trained armed force. And the police could no longer deal with it in a manner they were sworn to prevent. Either they join or their career would take an uneasy turn.
If at all there is a need to reconfigure the entire apparatus of police mentality as it is shown in the conduct of today’s uniformed scallywags, then the institution needs a paradigm shift. Its leaders must recognize that the very institution they represent has been badly damaged and that no matter how pure their mindsets are, their integrity has been sullen already. They must, pardon my suggestion, resign and opt for the abolition of the force.
Instead, send the Marines to the law school and let them be the seed of a new law enforcement agency. Then we can start anew. After all, it is only the Marines which have shown that they have the conscience and the guts, the fortitude and objectivity, the respect and adulation of every community where they are assigned.