These days you don’t have to look too far or hard to find news about police behaving badly. Incidents in Ferguson. Missouri and on Staten Island, New York have been top of the news for months now. So it was nice to see some front-page news of cops doing good. Very early Christmas morning Const. Jean-Pierre Brabant of the Service de police de la ville de Montréal and his partner assisted in the delivery of a baby. I say assisted as I believe the mother actually delivered the wee lad, but the officers did all the right things.
In another case, police were stopping law-abiding motorists and presenting them with $100-bills! The cash was donated anonymously with a request to have the cops distribute it.
Our media pays close attention to police wrongdoings, as it should. But it is my belief that those episodes are dwarfed by the number of positive interactions between police and citizens that occur daily. All too often we take these in stride. If we are going to be critical of poor, unacceptable policing, then it behooves us as a society to be just as outspoken regarding the good work done.
We must be vigilant of law enforcement, setting the bar higher for police officers than for average citizens due to two main reasons. Firstly, as a society we train police officers and enfranchise them with the authority to detain and arrest. Secondly, we allow them to publicly bear arms (I am writing about Canada).
In my opinion the vast majority of police officers understand these powers that have been bestowed upon them and wield them with the utmost of respect. But the last time I looked most law enforcement officials were fallible human beings just like the rest of the members of society (I say most, because some are dogs, some horses). While, for the benefit of all, including the majority of good cops, we must continue to monitor law enforcement, that scrutiny should reflect the good as well as the bad.