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I love cops. I envy them and the job they have to do. In today’s
world, it isn’t an easy job — if ever it has been — but it is an
admirable, decent way to make a living and every one of them should be
commended for choosing police work as a career and making most of us
safer than we likely would be on our own.

I support police and sheriff’s organizations where I live — not
because I want a free pass to do whatever I please, but because I
believe in the importance of law enforcement and the job cops do to make
sure that me, my family, and those of my neighbors and friends are
secure in our “homes, person and effects.”

Having said that — and in response to a few emails I’ve received
recently that claim I am anti-law enforcement for my recent views about
INS raids and other government-sponsored actions — I feel it’s
important to define what I believe is and is not proper treatment of
citizens by law enforcement personnel at any level of government.

That’s what we do here at WorldNetDaily — point out the injustices
– like it or not.

When I call a cop, which (thankfully) is extremely rare, I usually
need one and I want them to be big, physically fit and well-armed
(sorry, ladies — some of you who are cops just don’t inspire my
confidence or put enough deterrent fear into the perpetrator). Though
I’m perfectly capable of defending my family (as I have done in the
past), these days, ironically, the law itself is what prevents me from
handling most of these situations on my own. So, naturally, the only
fall-back plan available to most of us is our local police or sheriff’s
department.

Which is as it should be; locals know us better than federal
law enforcement counterparts ever could.

Nevertheless when cops do stupid things, break laws or hurt people,
they should be punished and held out for contempt just like any other
common criminal. Most of them who are worth their salt already know and
believe this.

So it is, too, with federal cops. Enter the recent INS swat-style
raid to “rescue” or “arrest” — depending upon who you listen to –
6-year-old Elian Gonzales.

I know how hard it is to give up on a career you’ve worked hard to
perfect, but I believe I’m safe in saying that had I been one of those
INS agents, I would not have obeyed the order to invade this
boy’s home with full swat gear, automatic weapons, and as much terror
and intimidation as I could muster.

Not so long ago I made my living as a paramedic; had done so for a
decade and a half. Loved the work; I’m not ashamed of it nor would I
change anything if I could somehow go back in time. Being there to help
people get through their medical emergencies — when they needed a
helping hand the most — is gratifying and, in many ways, spiritually
fulfilling.

However, because of the horror story that has become the behemoth of
modern medicine — where rules, regulations and mindless bureaucrats
reign supreme — it became increasingly difficult to simply “do the job”
I was trained to do. In every life a little paperwork must fall, to be
sure, but it was becoming much more than just having to fill out trip
records and billing sheets.

So I quit. The day my job became more about following ill-conceived
and counterproductive rules and regulations than about delivering
quality emergency health care to my patients was the day I chose to
leave. And I survived.

My point is, the same principle of “doing no harm” applies to police
work. Anytime you’re in the public’s eye, taking public funding to do a
job geared specifically towards improving the safety, health, or quality
of life for the public, you have accepted a higher calling,
whether you know that or not and whether or not you believe that.

Most cops already know this and perform their jobs accordingly. They
are professionals, through and through, and among themselves will not
tolerate anyone who doesn’t share their values and core beliefs about
how to do what they do for a living.

But some don’t know this, and this criticism is directed to
those individuals who took the same oath to “serve and protect”
the public while following the constitutional principles of law set
forth in this country. Raiding Elian Gonzales’ home in the manner in
which the INS agents did so was wrong — morally and ethically — and
probably even illegal. These agents should have stood their ground and
told Attorney General Janet Reno and INS Commissioner Doris Meissner,
“No — we will not do this.”

Yet a number of agents followed the order anyway. By doing so, they
have alienated yet another segment of American society from the
incredible majority of other police officers who count on the public’s
support but must now deal with new feelings of animosity — even though
they didn’t do a damned thing wrong.

That was selfish, mindless, and arrogant of these agents to put the
rest of this country’s good cops (and federal agents) out on a limb like
that. Just plain wrong.

State and local cops, along with some of their federal brethren, are
what keep this country from plunging overnight into uncontrollable,
destructive anarchy. Sometimes the line separating us from total chaos
and relative calm is so thin you’d have to be a police officer to truly
appreciate that statement. Only a fool who doesn’t know how good he’s
got it here in the U.S. wouldn’t believe that.

So when bad cops — or good cops who follow bad orders — do stupid
things, it affects not only the majority of officers who are genuinely
helping this country keep its sanity, but it also affects the public
trust that must be maintained if cops are to retain their
rightful authority to keep us all from mobbing each other literally to
death.

That’s why the INS-Gonzales raid, along with the Waco and Ruby Ridge
debacles and the numerous swat-type “drug raid” blunders over the past
several years have got to be publicized and duly criticized for the
wrongful acts they are. Otherwise, if nobody does that, the public’s
perception of law enforcement’s rightful place in our society — as well
as our own safety — will be undermined and eventually destroyed
outright.

None of us can afford that. Few of us really want that.

Like I said, I love cops and I appreciate the job they do. But I
would respect a cop who said “no” to a foolish or illegal order much
more than one who said “yes” just to keep his or her job.

By never once pausing to think about the implications of such a bad
decision, those few law enforcement agents or officers make life hell
for every other cop and will eventually, if left unchecked, destroy all
credibility cops have to have to keep the peace.

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