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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Editorials    >    Class Warfare on the Beat


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Class Warfare On the Beat
Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, November 16, 2008
11:50 p.m.

So, I just want to get this right:  Are municipal cops still above sheriffs officers?  I mean, since some sheriffs’ officers have begun making more money than municipal officers, they move up a notch, right?  And campus cops, how do they compare to park rangers?  And, the whole corrections thing still confuses me.  They are below troopers but above bridge and tunnel cops?   What about Port Authority?  Those friggin guys always throw off the whole thing.


In one of the noblest of professions, it is incredible how we eat our own. 

For some, it’s not good enough to consider us all as cops patrolling different beats.   We need to differentiate between a tier, a dorm, a hood, and a highway.  Somewhere along the line, a caste system was created placing all of us on various levels of a law enforcement hierarchy, one which defines our worth and our importance.

We fight about titles, clientele, salaries, and even uniforms.

Some of this may be natural sibling rivalry. 

For instance, the network of sub-cultures within law enforcement sometimes battle over bragging rights. 

Narcotics officers ride traffic guys who ride detectives who ride patrol guys.  D.A.R.E. officers and K-9 officers watch each other in utter amazement pondering, “how can they do that job?”  Motor cops and mounted officers are cut from the same cloth, but would consider early retirement or even a bullet before manning a bicycle post.  And the bike guys quietly laugh at everyone certain they have the best gig of all.

Sibling competition can be fun and even healthy when not taken too far.  It’s inevitable in a setting with such fragmented responsibilities and division of work.

But when the conversation evolves to just plain berating the chosen field of a fellow law officer, it fractures our entire unity.

It’s not healthy, and it’s not necessary. 


In an age where some question whether the brotherhood of old still exists, it serves no purpose whatsoever to begin splitting up into separate and unequal entities. 

It divides us and it makes us little.

And in the end, when you’re alone and fighting with some street animal and you hear a siren screaming toward you, do you really care about the patch on the shoulder of the officer driving the car? 

When you’re at a funeral and the first three notes of taps ring out on the trumpet and you get a glimpse of a mom dressed in black holding the hand of a little boy, do you care which agency is standing next to you?

When we stand as one, we are colossal, we are noble, and we are magnificent.

When we engage in class warfare on the beat, we’re just a bunch of civil servants.
Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, November 16, 2008
11:50 p.m.

Share you Thoughts on This Editorial

While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just beyond reason.  Letters will be reviewed and posted each day. reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any submission.  Use the scroll box below to submit your thoughts:



Your Responses

Good article, but is seems to be getting worse as time goes on. As I see the ones who foster it are our brother and sisters who achieve rank and get to the top and forget where they come.  They seem to promote competition within and alienate other departments. No matter what rank, assignment or department, we have to be there day in and day out united to keep our neighborhoods, towns, cities and borders protected.

I am  deputy sheriff in southern Ohio.  I look at every officer as my equal. We all get along pretty good in this area and would help each other in a heartbeat. I don't care if it says dog catcher on the patch. As long as we are up against so many weirdoes ill take all the help I can get from a brother officer.

Excellent article, and right on point.  It's not the patch, it's the pride, and the person.  We all do the same job and can possibly face the same threats, so why do we bicker??? 

Please the end of the day we ALL want to go home to our families.  If you work in a prison, on a dock, at the airport or on the campus of the local college...the only goal we all have in common is to catch the bad guys and make it home to the family.  So remember it don't matter the patch, badge or color of uniform as long as we are there for each other in the end.  Stay safe....

Right on the mark!

It seems to have gotten worse over recent years.  There was always a rivalry, but it wasn't as nasty.  Guys need to remember that we can have pride in our agencies and titles, but in the end we're all on the job.

It doesn't matter who you work for city, state, county, feds.  We all have to stay alive and put cuffs on the bad guys....THAT'S WHAT WE DO !!

Well said.




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