With the state of things for police in recent days, I would like to reprint a classic from Paul Harvey written in 1970. He puts this more beautifully and accurately than I could ever hope.
What are policemen made of? A policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity. Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are new. What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace.
Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of 1 percent of policemen misfit the uniform. Thats a better average than youd find among clergy!
What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. Hes a strangely nameless creature who is sir to his face and fuzz (or worse) to his back. He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.
But if a policeman is neat, hes conceited; if hes careless, hes a bum. If hes pleasant, hes flirting; if not, hes a grouch. He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make. But if he hurries, hes careless; if hes deliberate, hes lazy.
He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to get sued.
The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesnt hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being brutal. If you hit him, hes a coward. If he hits you, hes a bully.
A policeman must know everything and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake. A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal, and tell you where the criminal is hiding. But, if he catches the criminal, hes lucky; if he doesnt, hes a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesnt, hes a dullard.
The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out 10 nights to tag one witness who saw it happen but refused to remember. The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman. And, of course, hed have to be a genius for he will have to feed a family on a policemans salary.
Thank you all for your support and concern for those of us here at the Boulder City Police Department. We are truly grateful.
June 30. Suspicious: Callers are worried when a man decides to sleep it off in the middle of the sidewalk at 12:26 p.m. in the area of Birch Street and Nevada Way.
Thought for the day: Those cement slabs can prove very inviting when the world is spinning, I suppose.
July 1. Animal: The owner does not want to pay extra charges for a pet by leaving it in the vehicle but is quickly convinced it is much cheaper to pay the fee than bail at 6:29 p.m. in the 700 block of Nevada Way.
Thought for the day: Animals and kids are extra money and extra concern. If youre not willing to assume that, then pass on having either.
July 2. Suspicious: The officer makes contact with a juvenile riding his newest motorized invention but finds out it is not legal to do so on a city street at 8:41 p.m. in the area of Avenue G and Adams Boulevard.
Thought for the day: Sometimes its amazing these kids make it to adulthood with both arms and legs attached.
July 3. Reckless driver: The caller wants to report a reckless driver, on the sidewalk, who almost hit her as she entered a place of business at 9:06 a.m. in the 800 block of Buchanan Boulevard.
Thought for the day: I suppose the lesson of the day is if you are going to drive reckless, dont do it on the sidewalk?
July 4. Fraud: The worker contacts dispatch when the subject tries to load a credit card using three bogus bills at 5:04 p.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.
Thought for the day: Keep your eyes open when handling large bills. Theres some pretty lousy counterfeit ones out there.
July 5. Suspicious: The caller informs dispatch that he believes there are people living in the dumpster and has a good description of two of them at 1:39 a.m. in the 1100 block of Nevada Highway.
Thought for the day: I guess, technically, a dumpster could classify as a mobile home.
July 6. Assist: A man makes threats to hurt himself, runs off into the desert, and returns with rocks in his socks but explains to officers it was just a ploy to quit his job at 8:30 a.m. in the area of mile marker 48 on U.S. Highway 95.
Thought for the day: Today was the day for anything goes, I guess.
Call of the Week: Assist other: The caller, a bus driver, states he was having a smoke break when the sprinklers came on. He turned to run and fell, breaking his hip. The responding officer covered him in plastic to avoid the water, turned off the bus for him and inadvertently locked himself inside because of the auto-lock feature on the doors at 11:16 p.m. on July 3 in the area of Utah Street and Northridge Road.
Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizens Academy.