The Coastal Post - June, 1997

Attitude On Patrol

By Jon Moore

Speaking with our local Sheriff's Deputy last week, mostly listening, overheard an innuendo or two that disturb the fish a bit: "We don't like your vehicles on our beaches," I told him, "unless the Deputy has an emergency call to aid someone."

To use the beach as a road to nab unwitting citizens is cheap at best. His objection to parking the Bronco and walking the beach exposed his real fear: "Then someone will vandalize the vehicle while I'm on the beach," he stated.

Chucklingly, with a straight face, I replied, "Uh huh What do you do with underage drinkers on the beach?"

"Oh, I pour the beers out," he said, his excitement level quickening, "then I write 'em a ticket." A twitch appeared beneath his eye, and he grinned enthusiastically.

"I even get to arrest some of 'em."

For the best part of half-an-hour, I listened to a discourse validating a belief in focusing on "getting 'em."

Is the whole world moving towards a future of idiot plot-benders? Is the whole world making up stories about events that already happened and then acting as if they will occur again, and therefore we must be so-called "at the ready?"

Man, this mentality of protection is so off "cops" (originally Constables On Patrol, you know) to generate what? Community? Getting off on arresting people, that's what I felt. That sucks. No one is secure. You could be arrested right now circumstantial caca.

I wouldn't have known about the "get 'em" attitude if I hadn't taken the time to listen. How can we help our law enforcement people to better represent the real attitudes of the community if we don't listen to them and find out where they're coming from? Listening is a job everyone has, like water is to a fish, air is to people, listening for diffusing this "get 'em" attitude is most advantaging for us all. The man behind the star has his story too, and it's our job to know what it is.