Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Page Seventeen - US Letter (Copcast #132)

George was flipping through the pages of a magazine a colleague had brought back from the US when a full page advert caught his eye, it was titled “Bathroom and Plumbing Services” and claimed to be everything you needed for the perfect bathrooom. The advert went on to explain that their craftsmen had years of experience and even knew all the rules of plumbing including hot on the left, cold on the right and shit flows down hill. At the bottom of the page was the banner “So don't delay, call Rich Schumaker now for all your plumbing needs”.

As he turned to the next page George found himself reading a letter that had him quickly engrossed, it was titled “The Police” and said:

Well, Mr. Citizen, it seems you've figured me out. I seem to fit neatly into the category where you've placed me. I'm stereotyped, standardized, characterized, classified, grouped, and always typical. Unfortunately, the reverse is true of you; I can never figure you out. From birth you teach your children that I'm the bogeyman, then you're shocked when they identify with my traditional enemy … the criminal!

You accuse me of coddling criminals ... until I catch your kids doing wrong. You may take an hour for lunch and several coffee breaks each day, but point me out as a loafer for having one cup. You pride yourself on your manners, but think nothing of disrupting my meals with your troubles.

You raise hell with the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but let me catch you doing the same thing and I'm picking on you. You know all the traffic laws … but you've never gotten a single ticket you deserve. You shout "foul" if you observe me driving fast to a call, but raise the roof if I take more than ten seconds to respond to your complaint.

You call it part of my job if someone strikes me, but call it police brutality if I strike back.

You wouldn't think of telling your dentist how to pull a tooth or your doctor how to take out an appendix, yet you are always willing to give me pointers on the law. You talk to me in a manner that would get you a bloody nose from anyone else, but expect me to take it without batting an eye. You yell something's got to be done to fight crime, but you can't be bothered to get involved.

You have no use for me at all, but of course it's OK if I change a flat for your wife, deliver your child in the back of the patrol car, or perhaps save your son's life with mouth to mouth breathing, or work many hours overtime looking for your lost daughter.

So, Mr. Citizen, you can stand there on your soapbox and rant and rave about the way I do my work, calling me every name in the book, but never stop to think that your property, family, or maybe even your life depends on me or one of my buddies.

Yes, Mr. Citizen, it's me … the lousy cop!

What caught George's attention most of all was the caption beneath the letter, it said:

The author of this article was claimed to be Trooper Mitchell Brown of the Virginia State Police who was alleged to have died in the line of duty two months after writing the article. It was later claimed however to be a fake but we agree so strongly with the sentiments it contains that we have reprinted it here as a salute to the millions of men and women police officers who put their lives on the line for us everyday.

George sat a moment staring at the page before grabbing a pair of scissors and neatly clipping the letter and the caption from the page then stepping over to the noticeboard and carefully pinning the article in a clear space near the middle.

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