It’s been a long while since I’ve written. Things have, well… haved. Things have. That’s about as much as I can extended to it. Things have.
As I sit down to write something for the very first time, in a while, something is nagging me. Something my husband vented to me about regarding his job. He works at a local police municipality, it rhymes with… mOverland. First he was a dispatcher, then as a reserve police officer, and then with a heavy heart – hardened by reality and corruption, back to a dispatcher as he attends school to become something to do with electrical engineering. Don’t as me, he starts to explain it to me, but my eyes glaze over. The words I’ve extracted from our conversations are, “Control Systems Management.” Which will not be helpful in a zombie apocalypse, in case you are wondering.
He vented to me something last night that clearly bothered him. His anxiety and frustration has transferred to me. Per direct order of the city’s mayor and city council, it is the responsibly of the local police to become the pool monitors of a particular apartment complex. Which means, if the complex owner/manager or resident of the complex notices anyone swimming in the pool, who does not live there, it is the duty and responsibility of the police to remove said offender.
Now, perhaps this particular pool area was overrun by adults who has a friend of a friend of a friend who they met one time at a party. Or perhaps hordes of Visigoths and Huns decided to siege the apartment complex pool in need of much need rest and relaxation. In these instances, yes. Call 911. Call the police and possibly the National Guard.
But I think, what this is, are local children and teenagers, with already no place to go, who have friends or relatives that live in the complex and they, like so many of us in the Saint Louis heat, are seeking some respite. Now, should they be there if they are not a resident? Probably not. I mean, isn’t that what rent and rental fees go towards? The right to a private pool? Sure. And isn’t it a liability issue as well? Absolutely. However, is it really the job of the local police to remove said offenders? If they are disruptive adults and teens and… three year olds endangering the safety and welfare of others, yes, call the police. But my understanding is in situations such as this, it is the property manager or owner who is responsible for enforcing such regulations and policies.
And as my husband so simply put, “So now we can thank our mayor and city council for helping to perpetuate the bully stereotype of LEO’s and help people hate the police more than they already do.”
Because we all know what will happen with a powder keg such as this: Some woman, whose friend lives in the complex , will come visit with her children. And all will be well. Until the disgruntled complex manager gets pissed off and instead of dealing with the situation first and then call police if it becomes out of hand, his first line of action is to call the cops. The officers will arrive and politely tell the woman she needs to leave. The woman will get pissed and start to become angry and yell and shout. The kids will start crying and then the phones come out and start filming. They will start filming a situation out of context. The will start filming the second after the woman stands firm and says she’s not leaving, the exact moment the officer physically removes her and her children from the property.
What they do not film is the weak spineless complex owner/manager calling the city council and mayor telling them it’s the cops he wants to enforce his policies. His regulations. What they do not film is the exasperated collective sighs among the officers as they are told the need to be babysitters. What they do not film is the officer, who has to respond to the call, delaying as much as possible because he or she knows this will not end well and he or she will only look like the villain. What they do not film is the context behind all of this.
The thing is though, this officer has a choice. We aren’t talking about a split second life or death situation here. These officers have a choice: heed the direct order, respond to the call, be the bad guy, and risk having it escalate or ignore the call and lose his or her job.
Now what would you do? Because you have a choice in this as well. You have the choice to remember every one has a boss from whom they take direct orders, and it was most likely that task master who gave this order. You have a choice to remember, there is always three sides to every story. You have a choice to remember the context that is not always apparent to the naked eye. You have a choice to raise your voice, be heard, get involved and vote.
It is your vote that determines the lawmakers. It is not the police who make the law. They are only the ones upholding the law. It is your vote that decided your mayor. Your city council. Your alderman or alderwoman.These are the lawmakers. These are the men and woman who pass asinine, income based laws and city ordinances. These are the men and women who give direct orders to those sworn to uphold the law.
Without your voice, without your vote, without your involvement, spineless asshats are elected and give needless orders such the mentioned above. They who have no direct contact with the public. No direct fall out or consequence. What do they care? They have those who are sworn to serve and protect as the messengers. And we all know what happens to the messenger. But what do the lawmakers care? Messengers are a dime a dozen.
So, if mOverland, MO’s city council and mayor had a spine, balls the size of a pre-pubescent boy, and half a brain with some critical thinking skills, they wouldn’t force their police men and women to do the dirty work of a slumlord apartment complex manager.
Of course, if the general public would get out vote in local elections and attend city council meetings, the spineless, brainless, ball-less mayor and city council wouldn’t be there in the first place.
So remember, the next time you see a video or hear of some asinine law or ordinance that must be upheld, remember – yes those sworn to uphold the law have a choice. But so do you.