A few days ago I posted an article titled 'Cops, crime, corruption, communities and violence'. It examined the dilemma between policing according to traditional 'Peelian principles' and the current trend towards overbearing authority, and discussed the rise in violence towards cops. Among other points, I said:
Things can't go on like this, because if they do, the good cops will leave. Their lives are worth more to them than the risks they'll have to face to continue as peace officers. That will mean the dregs take over . . . those who don't give a damn about citizens or their rights, and will lord it over everyone and throw their weight around behind the authority of their badges. The more they do that, the more of them will die, and the worse the situation will get.
There's more at the link.
It looks like that reality is already affecting police recruitment. Fox reports:
Police departments face a recruiting shortage amid a growing anti-cop mood that some fear has taken the pride out of peacekeeping and put targets on the backs of the men and women in blue.
Open calls for the killing of police have been followed by assassinations, including last week's murder in Texas of a Harris County sheriff's deputy. Instead of dialing back the incendiary rhetoric, groups including "Black Lives Matter" have instead doubled down at demonstrations with chants of "Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon." Public safety officials fear the net effect has been to demonize police, and diminish the job.
"It's a lot harder to sell now," Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association and former state representative, told FoxNews.com. "This is a very real phenomenon."
. . .
"You no longer just have to worry about your life while in uniform," he said. "Now you have to be worried about the well-being of your family," he said.
Roorda said the new academy class continues to be delayed and the police force loses about double the amount of officers per year than in the past.
Knowing police face public scorn or career-ending legal battles even if they acted properly has convinced many prospective cops to abandon their dreams of patrolling America's streets.
"I saw all this anti-cop propaganda and I was like, 'Who needs this?'” said Antonio, a New Yorker who asked that only his first name be used. The 32-year-old had applied and been accepted into the NYPD academy, but withdrew his candidacy amid the cop-bashing climate sweeping the country.
. . .
Recruitment nationally is "way down," said Jonathan Thompson, executive director of the National Sheriff’s Association. He said some sheriffs around the country say the number of applications has fallen by as much as 50 percent.
. . .
Sgt. Delroy Burton, chairman of the DC Police Union in Washington, compared the current treatment of police to veterans returning from the Vietnam War.
"We have to fight the bad guys, and the policymakers go unnoticed," he said.
Burton, who was born in Jamaica and is a former U.S. Marine, said his police force is about 131 officers understaffed and has seen nearly 600 officers resign in the past 19 months -- a number he said is unheard of.
"We're sitting ducks," he said. "We're in these uniforms, brightly colored cars and there's nothing we can do. And the vast majority supports this loud vocal minority."
Again, more at the link.
When there aren't enough police to do the job, the streets will become less safe for them, as well as for law-abiding citizens. That will further accelerate the loss of 'good cops', who'll conclude (quite logically) that their lives are worth more than the aggravation, danger and denigration to which they're subjected for doing their job. At the same time, the 'wrong' type of cop, the 'jackbooted thug' variety who enjoys throwing his weight around, will become more prone than ever to do so, because he'll see it as preempting potential threats by intimidation and a 'command presence'. Any objection or dissent will be seen as criminal behavior, deserving only of contempt. That's already happening.
This is not a good place for law enforcement to be . . . and unless something is done to rectify the situation very quickly, it's going to get worse.