COPS: GOOD AND BAD

IN MY OPINION: By W.T. “RoadBlock” Harrell

PART ONE: The Good

We are doing the same thing the government does to us by lumping all cops into a bad cop category. This is a serious mistake that makes it almost impossible to bring about any changes. I hope these articles, Part One and Two will give you something to think about. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

After serving thirty years in prison, many people assume I hate cops. Cops dictated if I could leave my cell, if I could receive medical care, when I ate, what I wore, what I could say to them without getting my cell tossed –24/7 for thirty long years. Did I like it? Not hardly.

Since coming home five years ago, I have to answer to my parole officer. He makes surprise visits to my home, and monitors both personal and business activities and records. Do I like it? No, but it’s his job, and we both know the rules.

My book-signing events take me many places. I’ve met and talked with a lot of local, state and federal police officers. Many are unhappy with the way things are going in America for all of us. Do I like it? Hell yeah, it’s great to finally have open discussions, with concerned uniform and street cops to old-school prison guards, about issues that concern us and our families and country.

And of course, our main topic is about law enforcement going to hell.

OldCopsGOOD COPS: I believe there are many cops who do their best to uphold the traditional standards of law enforcement in a professional and constitutional manner. They’re respectful to lames, liars and John Q Citizen alike, have tremendous patience, and can diffuse a dangerous situation without a tank or riot gun.

As history has proven, these “good” cops catch shit rolling downhill. Treating the public with ethics and common sense goes against directives from the upper echelon, who crave sensational media stories to further their political goals. “Look, we are ‘Tough On Crime’, we just blew that drug house apart with everyone in it! One of them had an illegal marijuana flake or seed in his pocket. Vote for me, I will keep you safe!”

Vote

Faced with little support all the way up the food chain, however, bucking the system means losing promotions, friendships and possibly careers. Superiors no longer consider the good cop a “team player,” which is ironic, because a good street cop is usually an independent person capable of making good decisions without any help from a politician.

Some places are worse than others. Daytona Beach LE relishes their reputation for harassing tourists, especially during biker events. Yes, the ill will and ticket gouging adversely impacts commerce for local businesses, but the police chief isn’t shy  about his political goals being more important than the community coffers.

(Daytona welcomes Bikers?  Since when?)

(Daytona welcomes Bikers? Since when?)

In fact, he has publicly stated that motorcycle clubs are not welcome in Daytona because “they are nothing more than criminals and domestic terrorists.” I’m not sure how the Bikers for Jesus and veterans clubs feel about that.

By contrast, Panama City Beach welcomes people to Spring Break and biker events. The cops I’ve seen there handled visitors with common sense and courtesy, maintaining public safety while recognizing the attendees are there to have fun.

PanamaBeach
In any town, a seasoned street cop knows his clientele: the petty criminals who’ll never learn, a stranger who sets off all his sixth sense alarms, or a kid egged into something stupid by friends. From experience, those officers know how to handle each situation.

OfficerAndKidThese police officers have my respect and should have the respect of everyone. Without them, our society would descend rapidly into total lawlessness, where only those with no conscience will survive. I believe the good cops live by the oaths they took when they were sworn in as Police Officers.

“I do solemnly swear to uphold, defend and protect the U.S. Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic.”

And,

“On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”

Conclusion: Some of the police officers I have spoken with tell me they need the help of citizens to get Law Enforcement back in the hands of professional cops (as opposed to military trained killers). How? Well, do bikers appreciate getting lumped into one category by glory-hounds like Chief Chitwood? Exactly. So why would any decent law enforcement officer appreciate comparisons to a rogue cop who beat and brutally sodomized a handcuffed nonviolent offender? Or a military force posing as law enforcement

As hard as it is, we have to rearrange our own thinking. Not every squad car means grab the kids and the dogs and head for the bomb shelter. Not every blue light means an instant ticket. When you start to rage against all cops in general, think about a world without them between your family and the sociopaths waiting in the dark. If nothing else, consider they may be in the majority of officers that aren’t scared shitless of dogs, and save yours instead of shooting it.

If I can learn to have a reasonable conversation with a few, so can you. Sometimes you learn something very valuable, that just like us not all cops are the same.

RoadBlock 1%er

Note:  The way I looked at my personal experience with cops back in the old days? Their job as law enforcement officers was to put me in jail if I broke the law. On the other hand, my job was to not let them catch me violating the law. They had their job, and I had mine. Guess what? Fifty years later, after all that bullshit, we’re not keeping score. We’re all just glad to wake up one more day.

 

 

18 Responses to COPS: GOOD AND BAD

  • My great grandfather was one of the first Irish Immigrants to this country in the twenties, landing in New York. Racism was hot,, for Irish.. and the only jobs were, cops or …. > My Big Poppa became a cop on the first harley davidson patrol in the city, his brother became a Supreme Court Judge in New York.. When the family moved to Hialeah, he used to tell me stories about the old days of law enforcement, when a cop was your best friend on a drunk in the dead of winter, die or get put in a nice warm cell.. Ticketed Rudy Valley and made front page news in the New Yorker, for saving his life from dying from drunk driving.. James J. Olliffe and Great Uncle Lewis Ollife were my greatest hero’s .. I remember the stories well, My Lil Poppa, married James J. Olliffe’s daughter Elaine and organized unions.. the AFL-CIO for Florida to be exact. so unions and law enforcement are in my blood,, also the right to SOLIDARITY.. WE MUST COME TOGETHER FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF THIS COUNTRY OR WE ARE ALL GOING TO SUFFER.. CARRY ON WITH YOUR AGENDA.. YOU HAVE MY VOTE.. ROAD BLOCK HARRELL FOR PRESIDENT

  • Good article,

    My father was a beat cop in the town I grew up in. I was 20yrs old when the man I considered a grandfather to me (Bim) was given weeks to live. He ran a local tow company and my father had worked for him from the time he was a mid-teen. I carried the inebriated wife of the county Sheriff out to the car at the end of a party in Bim’s honor. I had a job with the Sheriff’s Office the next week. I worked as a correctional officer there for many years. People asked if I liked the job. I always had the same answer, “If you like the job there is something wrong with your head”. I lost count of how many inmates asked about my father and said “he was a good shit and treated me fair. Tried to keep me out of trouble as much as he could”. I always tried to live to the same ideal.

  • Good points, and fair. “Them and Us.” You got that right. I don’t know why we all tend to lump people into categories. After a few bad experiences, its really easy to hate the sight of a uniform. I have to remind myself about the cop who changed a flat tire for me, the ones who gave a speeding teenager a break instead of an astronomical ticket, and the ones who had to knock on doors to tell parents their kid wasn’t ever coming home.
    It’s not easy, even for smart people :-), but you’re right, we need to try, more than ever.

  • Well said Road Block. Sensationalism is what they’re all about.

  • Even a “good” cop is a part of a broken system.

  • With my track record I am sure my opinion doesn’t mean much but for what it’s worth, I’m proud of you RB…

    • Thanks, you are wrong your comments are always appreciated. To me, everyone’s comment means concerned people are paying attention.

  • Good words my friend…

    I grow old enough to know not all cops are evil or un-needed in our society…

    we don’t have the time or resources to protect everyone without them and would spend all our time in chaos and violence just to survive another day.;

    The only thing that can allow evil to prevail is if good men do nothing.

    Ride safe my friend

  • RB 1%er…..Like always your article is right on. Having lived in Daytona off and on for many years and wore a patch since the 70s. The Daytona Beach LE is totally anti biker. They have in the past threatened bar owners with closing their business for “code violations” if the did not keep patch holders out of their bars. I also have personally known some cops that did their job the right way. You were right on about back in the day it was their job to catch us breaking the law and our job not to get caught. Then along came ATF and decided we can’t catch them so lets entrap them…..and unfortunatly that still is going on more than ever today.

  • I recall being a teenager when the beat cops knew everybody in ‘the hood’. Then after a crazed wife beater blew away the cop his wife summoned to their door, beat cops were switched to different neighborhoods and the beat cop was never again the same guy. And once I started riding a Harley the Columbus Ohio cops all treated me like shit. Moved away and never looked back.

  • Well said Roadblock. It shows a lot of class to have been through what you have, and still be able to say that there are some good cops out there.

  • I hear ya, man. Seems there is alot of peer pressure the other way to hate all cops. I agree with everything you said, but it’s just hard for me to accept that any man with any amount of integrity or dignity would wear the same badge that so many scumbag cops wear. I mean, how do you go home each night, look yourself in the mirror, knowing that some foolass chucked a flashbang grenade into a baby’s crib. And where was the accountability? There was none. I could on and on but you know all the horror stories that are out there. Respect, and thank you for your courage and integrity.

  • Nicely put, I remember meeting the federal officers at Angel City with you and how they treated all of us wearing our colors they purchased your books and we all had nice conversations with them,
    but that is one thing, I’ve also been detained on the side of the road for just wearing them, we have profiling laws in this country I see them abused all the time and as a Veteran first the a proud color wearing patch holder having to deal with that bad cop sucks, but I have also went through road blocks and not asked for a thing and waved on through.

  • Well said Roadblock 1%er couldn’t agree more that’s the difference between the Oathkeepers (good one’s) and “all other” LE. Cause if a lot of LE would go back, get there head out of there ass’ and really look and think about the oath they have taken and what it truly means and stands for, then educate themselves and really get to know the biker community they would see that we really all want the same thing. To go back to what our country was founded on, Freedom and Liberty. Let’s get back to what our predecessors signed into constitution and stop looking for loopholes and ways to infrenge upon them. But unfortunately it starts from the head down. And as we’ve all seen that head ain’t got no brain in it. And when that happens the body has got to take up for itself.

  • As always I enjoy your writings, gotta Respect a Man who has been down your road and still manages to be able to have this perspective that you write about. Having been in the Military and being assigned to go into Law Enforcement I witnessed good and bad LEOS’s, the hypocrisy never ceased to amaze me! We had good guys but we also had idiots who would go out of their way to make a two bit bust or see how many tickets they could write in a night, and then go out after duty and do the same thing they had busted or cited people for! By the end of my enlistment I was so done with Law Enforcement! I agree that there are good and bad, problem for me is you never know which you are dealing with, thus I try to avoid them altogether, Sorry, thru experiance even though I know some are good and the population needs them, I choose to not trust any of them, when forced to deal with them I give what I get. But again, good article and Much Respect To You

  • I am in awe of your story about the police your take and hypothetical speaking of your experience
    in your article of how some police force are not at all fair. I live in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada I see this all the time everywhere I go I ask my self why? then I ponder on that all day I still can’t get
    an answer till I read your article mind you it would be a great thesis to study apon and take a voice that could be heard, by the community put a voice to the people that protect us from day in and day out that we the people don’t stand this anymore lets make a stand.

  • Great article, glad your on our side,R B. Thank you

  • Roadblock. My heart skipped a beat when I found you and read all you wrote I’m so proud to have been in your life. Wish I could see you in person or talk to you even. You’ll be surprised to know that this is “Brett”. Your little girl from back in the day. Contact me if you get this. Love & hugs

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