The Officer’s Duty

Law enforcement has a hard job, made doubly so because those they are sworn to protect the law-abiding against are not constrained by the laws officers must uphold.

Officers of the law must track and apprehend the lawless while themselves remaining within the bounds of the law at all times. While police officers breaking the law while chasing the bad guys makes for good TV, movies and dramas alike, it negates the law they are sworn to uphold.

Police Officers

In this country, and all the freer countries around the world, it is the fact that the law is an absolute authority, that there is no one, no matter how high or powerful, who is not constrained by its dictates, that makes those countries free. When all people are equal before the law, there can be equality.

But when officers, who are sworn to uphold the law, break the law, even for purposes we may rationalize and agree with, they must be doubly punished, for they are leaders and are held both to slavish obedience to the law, and to enforcement for the protection of all those who abide by it.

In other words: mind the Constitution, policemen and women. We citizens have our rights. It may be frustrating when we fail to obey you, but you are not the law, and we are not compelled to obey any command given by you if the power to make that command is not explicitly granted in the laws drawn up by our representatives. You serve and exist at our behest, for our protection, and the protection of our rights and property. Power trips and petty scrabblings which end up with our going to jail without legal justification can and should end up with you paying a strict penalty.

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I support law enforcement. They have a hard and dangerous job as guarantors and protectors of my freedom. They are often unappreciated by those they serve. I will do my best to make sure the officers of the law have the resources they need to carry out their necessary work effectively and as safely as possible. But when they overstep their bounds and become not a protector of the law, but a law to themselves, with their own pride and power as their ultimate goal, then shall earn nothing except a quick trip to jail or whatever other punishment is commensurate to their crime.

2 thoughts on “The Officer’s Duty”

    1. No I am not, and thank you for pointing out that distinction.

      There is a difference between speeding to the scene of a crime and telling peaceful citizens they cannot film the officer’s actions, or requiring people who are neither legitimately suspected nor accused of committing a crime to provide identification, or utilizing legal but unconstitutional methods such as civil forfeiture.

      One is absolutely necessary in nearly every case to apprehend someone who is posing a danger to others. The others are the actions of the power-mad who ought not be wearing uniforms for the damage they bring to the reputation and respect of officers of the law everywhere.

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