FLAGLER, Fla. – Jonathan Dopp, an eight-year veteran of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, wrote an op-ed piece for FlaglerLive.com this month about the real fears and dangers of being a cop.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
The cops. The ones you hate. The ones that only exist to violate your rights or murder you needlessly. We are everything you fear. We are everything you hate and despise. We act recklessly, with no regard for life or public safety. This is the popular view in America right now.
The police officers of America have been on the constantly swinging pendulum of American culture. We have been hailed as heroes and we have been demonized as monsters. Unfortunately, America now views their police officers as monsters again.
No one cares about the good we do. Very few ever even hear about it. They don't understand what we do, and they don't want to understand. Ours is a job that most people know needs to be done, but would rather not know how.
Statistics show that police work is not as dangerous or deadly as say, commercial fishing or a host of other professions. The dangerous part of our job, the part that people never factor in, cannot be measured in fatalities in our ranks. It comes from the psychological damage caused by living within the dark side of society, the side that most people only see -- or think they see -- in movies.
The stress caused by the things we see on a daily basis is immeasurable. Added to that is the knowledge that the people we serve really only care that we exist when they need something from us. They expect that we will run toward them in their time of need. But they also expect that we make life-changing, split-second decisions with a surgeon's precision in the middle of the night, while we are scared to death. Then they will spend months dissecting the decision we had barely seconds to make.
To read the full op-ed piece, go to FlaglerLive.com