Tracy’s Blog

Take your work seriously…but never yourself.

Things that make me go….wuh?!

Police BadgeWould someone pleeeeez explain to me what is up with police officers in this city?! I have been pulled over more times in my short 2 year residence here than the rest of my entire life while residing in Tucson, Arizona. But it’s not just the frequency with which I get pulled over, it’s each and every officers’ condescending, offensive, and just generally impolite demeanor virtually every time I interact with them.

Some of you may, at this point, mistakenly dismiss me as nothing more than one of those speed-demon, criminally negligent cop-haters, but nothing could be further from the truth (except maybe a bit of the speed-demon part). I’m one of those unusual people who happens to agree with the laws we have in place (or at least recognize their necessity to preserve my security) and, with the exception of the occasional speeding or parking violation, I refrain from ANY criminal activity of ANY kind. Furthermore, I have never had anything but the utmost respect, admiration, and reverence for individuals who put their lives on the line everyday to protect my way of life.

In addition, I never, in my 27 years of living in Tucson, felt disrespected by a single police officer I interacted with nor did I feel badgered or profiled. I have suffered each of these while interacting with San Diegan officers on multiple occasions since relocating here. It’s common knowledge that any career field is going to attract some bad apples, but the volume, frequency, and misery of my interactions with police officers in this city has led me to believe the majority of its officers have adopted this unpleasant demeanor and approach to interacting with their citizens.

I’m well aware of the disparity between populations and subsequent crime rates among the cities of Tucson and San Diego and can only assume that the latter’s harsh urban environment is what has shaped these good-intentioned officers of the law to become so jaded, bitter, and cynical towards the general population. I can only imagine the devious criminal scum and life threatening scenarios San Diego police officers must be faced with on a daily basis.

But, unfortunately, some of San Diegans’ ill-tempered attitudes towards police officers (like my own) are self-fulfilling prophecies in the form of a defensive reactions against the officers’ inappropriate aggression and mis-use of authority. Any socially-skilled individual will agree that it’s necessary to adjust one’s demeanor and aggression level depending on the details of the situation at hand. Why is, then, that I feel like a convicted felon nearly every time I interact for any reason with a San Diego police officer? Why should I, a strictly law-abiding and highly productive citizen be treated in such a manner? I am always nothing but absolutely respectful during all my encounters with police officers, in spite of my rapidly developing aversion to them; why should I not receive the same respect I’m providing?

It’s tragic that, with all the adversity already directed at a police officers courtesy of the plentiful number of legitimate criminals out there, officers must also endure offensive behavior from law-abiding, respectful citizens who are simply irritated by the authorities’ unnecessarily abrupt, condescending, and patronizing manner. Furthermore, such superfluous adversity is easily avoided by remembering that, in spite of the excess number of scandalous deviants, most of us are still morally-upright, virtuous, and honest citizens just going about our day who want nothing more than to be treated with the same respect we give. After all, those among us who agree with the laws and their enforcement (or at least their necessity for our secure way of life) are ultimately on the same team and serving the same purpose as those in law enforcement, so why treat each other as such?

December 13, 2007 Posted by | MISC | Leave a comment