The other day I was asked what five ways I think the public can help support the Police. Thought provoking.
1. Trust us – we really are trying to help you. We will always do our best.
2. Help us – if you have information, please tell us. Especially with the dwindling resources, you are our source of information. You will see what we won’t, and that can be invaluable.
3. Support us – the media slate us on a daily basis. So do some of the public. We aren’t good enough, we took too long, we let you down. Our job is hard, and believe it or not, we know we took too long, we know we didn’t get the answer you wanted, and we know we let you down.
4. Understand us – there aren’t enough of us, and we aren’t quick enough. We do our best with what we have, and we know that isn’t always good enough. It’s not always the level of service we want to provide, but it is all we can do.
5. Respect us – if we ask you to do or not do something, there’s a reason. Please don’t argue, don’t swear at us, we are just doing our job. At my first fatal (see previous blog post) I asked somebody to move off the field so the Air Ambulance could land. Their reply? “I can f***ing walk where I want.” Brilliant.
We are in a difficult place. We struggle as an organisation, as a force, as a shift, and as an individual.
Jobs affect some of us more than others.
Being late off every night affects our family life.
Having rest days cancelled or shifts extended means we have to change our plans.
I’m not just a Police Officer.
I’m a wife, sister & daughter.
I’m a medic and a traffic controller at accidents.
I’m a counsellor at domestics.
I’m your shoulder to cry on after I’ve told you a loved one has died.
I’m your hand to hold when you’re frightened.
I’m good cop when you need my help.
I’m bad cop when you break the law.
I’ll fight to protect you, whilst trying also to protect myself.
I have feelings and emotions just like you.
Under my uniform I’m human too.
When you see us, don’t run away, say hey. If you don’t understand, ask us. Remember my five points above, but most of all, remember that we really can’t do our job without you.