4-27-14 Compassionate Cops?

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4-27-14 Compassionate Cops?

I seem to be having a tough time getting my brothers and sisters in law enforcement to submit work regarding the compassionate side of what we do and how we live. I can’t let this concept go to the wayside; however, and have decided to put my own work up in a serialized fashion. That is, when I see compassion or feel compassionate about something, I’ll post it on this page on my blog.  Among  all the other stuff in my life I can’t guarantee this will be regular, but I’ll do my best to keep this thing alive 🙂

The most recent thing I can recall is members of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office conducting a fundraiser event for Special Olympics. Many people in the general public who are not fans of law enforcement believe officers “just do these events to keep a decent public image.” Not true. The men and women I see volunteering hundreds of hours of time for planning, preparing, soliciting, and running these events is overwhelming. They do it because they are kind people, and feel the need to help others. It’s why they wear a badge and swear to protect society. It runs through our blood, an insatiable thirst to do good for others, particularly for those who may not be able to to it for themselves, or those who need a tiny bit of assistance.

Men and women wearing a badge are ordinary people just like everyone else. Many of them have children with special needs, debilitating diseases, or huge obstacles to overcome. They cry and stress out just like you. We’re not any better than the next person, we’ve just chosen a profession that is highly visible and overly scrutinized. All that we can ask is that society is a fair to us as we are to them every time we show up to a call. Nothing more, nothing less. Law enforcement, in my eyes, is the social glue that keeps society together and allows cohesion to form among all members of society. We aren’t looking for handouts or freebies. Our primary mission is to serve and protect, but it would sure feel great to believe we are on the same playing field as the rest of society.

Thanks and God Bless,

C. L. Swinney

6 thoughts on “4-27-14 Compassionate Cops?

    C. L. Swinney responded:
    April 30, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hay buddy! Thanks for the nice compliments 🙂 and support.

    esotericfoxloves2write said:
    April 30, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Chris – Beautifully written post. Police officers and law enforcement has always had a bad rep for one reason or another. I can only imagine the stuff you deal with and I wish society took more time to understand the sacrifice and dedication these men and women give to help keep people safe and to protect by getting the bad guys off the street. The media usually is not kind to the criminal justice providers and it is sad. I do know there are many supporters out there and I commend these people for doing what is right and noticing. While there are a few bad apples who bring negative attention to the field, I do know majority of those working care and want to help people. I know you’re one of these. Thank you for what you do and know you have a supporter. Be safe and thanks for all you do!

    C. L. Swinney responded:
    April 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    So cool! That’s the stuff I’m talking about 🙂

    neceewrites said:
    April 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Hey Chris,

    This is a great idea. Speaking from “behind bars”, I think it’s hard for correctional officers, deputies, sergeants … anyone who works inside the facilities to pat each other on the back because we give each other such a hard time on a regular. It’s the norm around here to tease a do-gooder or anyone who is viewed as too nice. Traditionally you are supposed to have that tough, commanding presence – so compassion gets lumped into a category that is often not talked about or applauded, though we do have the pleasure of witnessing it.

    Here is a small, but compassionate, gesture that happens at my facility. One of my sergeants has a soft spot for the homeless and transient guys/gals who come into jail and haven’t had a shower or clean clothes. They truly smell foul and one of the homeless men mentioned that he had not taken his shoes off for over a week. So, you can imagine what happened to the air in Intake when he did! Holy Mother did it stink!

    The Sergeant sent his clothes, shoes and socks (which were literally stuck to his feet and had to be peeled off) to laundry, where they were promptly cleaned. He then had the homeless inmate escorted to the shower room, given soap, shampoo and a scrub brush. After the shower, he requested our in-house barber to cut his hair and give him a clean shave him. (Keep in mind he had a beard, hair on his neck and hair coming out of his nose.)

    The Makeover was like a miracle … the homeless guy was smiling, grateful and gave me a thumbs up when he walked by. It was like a real person peeked out from behind all of the dirt build up, layers of clothes and hair and was happy for the first time in … well, who knows how long.

    There have now been several “make-overs” for the indigent, homeless individuals who are coming through the facility. And maybe I should keep tabs, but it seems like they are not coming back as often, could be a huge self esteem boost, right?

    So, though it’s small, compassion is a wonderful thing, no matter how tiny the gesture.

    C. L. Swinney responded:
    April 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you Marja! I hope you are well!!

    Marja McGraw said:
    April 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Excellent post, Chris. People wearing the badge shed blood, sweat and tears just like the rest of us.

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