An Officer’s Life with Commentary from a Skeptic

This old chestnut, “An Officer’s Life,” floats to the top of the Internet every once in a while. The first line (*) is some comment supposedly made by a non-cop. The response (**) is supposed to be the reason why the cop is doing what he’s doing. It’s supposed to evoke empathy for the hard life of the police officer. The third line in italics are my comments to this pile of utter tripe.


*You wonder why he pulled you over and gave you a ticket for speeding,
**He just worked an accident where people died because they were going too fast.
No, that’s not why. It’s because more than 50% of some police department’s budgets come from traffic fines and property seizures.

*You wonder why that cop was so mean,
**He just got done working a case where a drunk driver killed a kid.
That’s no excuse for rude or unprofessional behavior. It’s called self-control.

*You work for 8 hours,
**He works for up to 18 hours.
Please. Police unions are some of the most powerful in the country. They would never let a cop work 18 hours.

*You drink hot coffee to stay awake,
**The cold rain in the middle of the night keeps him awake.
Then he should get a cup of coffee. You knew the job required you to be outdoors at times. Linemen and utility workers have it worse than cops in this regard. 

*You complain of a “headache,” and call in sick,
**He goes into work still hurt and sore from the guy he had to fight the night before.
So stop tackling and beating people. Don’t start trouble; there won’t be no trouble. Besides, do you know how many cops are on medical retirement?

*You drink your coffee on your way to the mall,
**He spills his as he runs Code 3 to a traffic crash with kids trapped inside.
If the cruiser doesn’t have cup holders, then don’t bring drinks, idiot.

*You make sure you’re cell phone is in your pocket before you leave the house,
**He makes sure his gun is clean and fully loaded and his vest is tight.
Because you never know when you’ll want to use that badge to hide behind while you shoot a kid who’s carrying a toy gun.

*You talk trash about your “buddies” that aren’t with you,
**He watches his buddy get shot at, and wounded in front of him.
Which rarely happens. Contrary to what cops like to tell people, their’s is not the most dangerous job in the world.

*You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls,
**He walks down the highway looking for body parts from a traffic crash.
Such dedication, kind of the like the “blue flu” that’s taken hold of Memphis. Don’t tell me cops don’t look at pretty girls. I could post half-a-dozen news articles here where cops have been arrested for raping women and forcing them to perform lewd acts in lieu of tickets.

*You complain about how hot it is,
**He wears fifty pounds of gear and a bullet proof vest in July and still runs around chasing crack heads.
So stop chasing crack heads. They’re hurting no one but their selves.

*You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong,
**He runs out before he gets his food to respond to an armed robbery.
I have personally watched a fire dept crew do this while the cops stayed and ate. They were officially on lunch so someone else was covering.

*You get out of bed in the morning and take your time getting ready,
**He gets called out of bed at 2 am after working 12 hours and has to be into work A.S.A.P. for a homicide.
That would have to be one helluva homicide involving multiple bodies. This just doesn’t happen.

*You go to the mall and get your hair redone,
**He holds the hair of some college girl while she’s puking in the back of his patrol car.
Please. He would have pushed the kid out to keep from fouling his vehicle. And if she got any puke on him, he would have charged her with assault.

*You’re angry because your class ran 5 minutes over,
**His shift ended 4 hours ago and there’s no end in sight.
Post-arrest paperwork is a bitch, ain’t it. Solution, stop arresting people for bullshit.

*You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight,
**He can’t make any plans because on his off days he still gets called back into work.
More likely, he spent his day off beating his wife and/or girlfriend. Cops have an abysmal domestic abuse rate.

*You yell and scream at the squad car that just past you because they slowed you down,
**He’s in the driver seat of the squad car, going to cut somebody out of their car.
Cops don’t cut people out of cars. They direct traffic around the accident. The fire dept cuts people out of cars.

*You roll your eyes when a baby cries in public,
**He picks up a dead child in his arms and prays that it was crying.
No. That would be tampering with evidence. Picking up the dead child is the corner’s job.

*You criticize your police department and say they’re never there quick enough,
**He blasts the siren while the person in front of him refuses to move while talking on their cell phone.
I never say the police are not quick enough because I don’t call the police.

*You hear the jokes about fallen officers and say they should have known better,
**He is a hero and runs into situations when everyone else is running away in order to make sure no one else gets hurt and loses his life doing it.
Hero is not the word assigned to most cops. Fire fighters? Hero. Paramedics? Hero. Cops? Revenue collectors, megalomaniacs, bullies, yes, but not hero.

*You are asked to go to the store by your parents, you don’t,
**He would take a bullet for his buddy without question.
I’m sorry. I’m laughing too hard to type a response to this one.

*You sit there and judge him, saying that it’s a waste of money to have them around,
**Yet as soon as you need help he is there.
Nope. No he’s not. Like I said, I don’t call the cops, don’t want them around, and have no use for them. Cops inevitably make a situation worse. They are trained to respond in only one way to all situations…with force. Cops don’t make things better. I could quote three stories from the last six months where cops in North Carolina, California, and Virginia were called to help with mentally unstable children and, in all three cases, ended up killing the kids. Don’t call the cops.


3 thoughts on “An Officer’s Life with Commentary from a Skeptic

  1. Well, maybe the cops rarely protect their buddies from bullets, but at least they are very good in protecting their buddies from lawsuits and investigations.

  2. Thank you, Voice of Reason, for, once again, stripping the emotionally-charged gaslighting from the usual bullshit making the rounds on the Internet.

    Boy, do I have some stories from my youth in the 80s (all pre-Rodney King, of course) where my friends and I experienced routine harassment and brutality at the hands of state henchmen. Long-haired urban white kids and minorities were favorite targets for the KPD back then.

    My wife, when we were dating, once overheard 2 cops bragging to each other in a restaurant about coercing a teenage girl into screwing them both so they wouldn’t give her a ticket. Such was the climate in the 1980s, before flip cameras were everywhere (did you hear about the cops and politicians who want to try and make it illegal to film them, citing the safety of their families? Bullshit!)

    In their defense, however, I have met a handful of good cops; decent people with good hearts. But the majority, unfortunately, is exactly how you say. The old bait-and-switch goes like this; they appeal to your need for their protection, then turn around and concentrate on picking your pocket, generating more revenue for the state.

    I put my life in danger every day, doing what I do for a living, never asking for anything but an honest day’s pay. So too should the fuzz, IMHO.

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