Sheyanne N Romero , Visalia Times-Delta
Cops get a bad rap. From doughnut jokes to more serious accusations of police misconduct and brutality.
On May 15, between 25,000 to 40,000 officers will celebrate Peace Officer Memorial Day. Law enforcement officers from around the world meet each year in Washington, DC to honor those who have died in the line of duty. Despite recent cases of police-involved shootings, law enforcement remains a necessary public service.
Many officers understand the importance and power of wearing a badge and carrying a gun. There are also “bad cops” and those officers can poison a department and cripple a community.
Prior to being the public safety reporter, I had little experience with police. Now, most of my days are spent writing stories that involve cops.
Here is what I’ve discovered:
- Cops like to tell jokes. Actually, they like making fun of reporters and firefighters.
- Cops get grumpy.
- Cops are jealous of firefighters’ bodies.
- Sometimes they don’t properly secure suspects in the back seat of their patrol vehicle.
- The majority are deeply invested in the community they are sworn to protect.
Visalia police and fire departments came to my rescue after I was hit by a car in December. I owe them a debt of gratitude and one “On the Scene” column to highlight their sacrifice.
The hundreds of local officers and the more than 900,000 women and men nationwide know the risks associated with their job. Each morning (or night) they put on their uniform, kiss their loved ones goodbye and head to the station knowing it could be their last day.
In 2016, 143 officers died while in the line of duty. Tens of thousands more were assaulted and injured.
A recent study by WalletHub determined which states are the best and worst to be a police officer. Researchers determined that aside from the financial perks, people considering the profession are more likely apply to departments that don’t have a history of scandal and corruption, sorry LAPD. Prospective officers also look for a transparent police force.
California ranked 21st with a score of 50.86 percent. North Dakota was listed as the top state to be a police officer. The state had a score of 63.05 percent and took first in both overall and quality of life ranking.
To view WalletHub’s study visit https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-be-a-cop/34669/