Editorial Article by Jim Lantern, Lantern Timeglass Journal, Monday morning 11 July 2016
Both of us born in 1956, I had a friend during some of my school years who joined the Marines after graduating from high school. He served for a couple of years. Then he got out and became a uniformed police officer early in 1978 after attending a police academy late in 1977.
He informed me that at the academy officers are taught that there are only two kinds of people – cops and criminals. If you are not a cop, then you are a criminal. There are only two kinds of criminals – those who have been caught and those yet to be caught. There’s no such thing as a good citizen – except for the cops themselves. He further informed me that he estimates about 50% of the uniformed cops out on the street in marked patrol cars agree with that belief. That is their mentality. That is their programming. For those cops, when they pull someone over for a traffic violation or something like a broken taillight, then it has already been decided – the driver is a criminal, unless the driver happens to be an off duty cop or plainclothes detective. He did also mention that most of the uniformed officers believe they are superior to plainclothes detectives and that they dislike most of them, so there is also that kind of division within law enforcement.