Shining a Light: It’s Not Us Vs. Them

crossing the thin blue line shieldLet me start off by saying that my name is not Ray Isaac.  In my line of work, speaking against the establishment is severely frowned upon.  If my employers were to find out who I am, they may fire me.  If other cops were to find out who I am, there may be worse repercussions.  I’ve been a federal police officer for almost 12 years and have been an instructor within my agency for 10 of those years.  I teach several classes, but I cut my teeth teaching Defensive Tactics.  “Defensive Tactics” is PC cop-speak for teaching officers how to defend themselves and make arrests.  In splitting my time between the ideals of the training environment and seeing it played out in real life, it came to my attention that things weren’t acting out the way they were “supposed” to.  Over the years, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends in policing and it has all lead me here.  

Though I was an English minor in college, it’s been a while since I’ve really sat down and written anything, and the first time I’ve ever written about the job. My friend had to show me how to use Twitter and as you read this, know that I’m writing it in Google Docs so that she can edit it for the Internet.  But, I feel as though I have a voice.  I have things I need to say.  Sometimes, I am going to piss off my fellow cops.  Sometimes I’m going to piss off the rest of the population.  But therein lies my biggest issue.  Those statements I just made segmented the population into two categories.  These two categories shouldn’t exist.  Cops vs. everyone else; us vs. them.  

I strongly believe that opening up lines of communication and having transparency in Law Enforcement needs to happen.  We need to explain some of the “why” in our work, so that communities can trust us again. There’s a huge disconnect between what the public perceives as what an officer is supposed to do in a situation, versus what they are actually trained to do. One of my goals is to narrow the gulf between perception and truth. Because I am a training officer who has chosen to dedicate my life to law enforcement, I take training very seriously. So many of the cases that make the news come down, at least in part, to a breakdown in training. We need to talk about this. We need to shine a light on the systemic problems that lead officers down the path of shooting blindly into a hallway, or using deadly force on a person who is not posing a threat.

I plan to take questions via Twitter, and examine cases in the media and try to break down police actions. For too long, the main response from law enforcement has been vague excuses and victim blaming.  The world isn’t black and white. It isn’t us vs. them. The thin blue line has been part of my life for twelve years. I believe in it. But I also believe in crossing it, if that’s what it takes to bring about change.


2 thoughts on “Shining a Light: It’s Not Us Vs. Them

  1. I truly hope you can bring light to these dark time in LEO history. It has gotten to the point where people are affraid to call the police for fear of getting shot or the oilce arresting the wrong person.

    We need the days of Citizens on Patrol again.


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