WHAT ARE POLICEMEN MADE OF? By Paul Harvey~ August 27, 1966
Don’t credit me with the mongrel prose: It has many parents-at least 420,000 of them: Policemen.
A policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity.
Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers; underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are “new”. What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, and not commonplace.
Buried under the frost is the fact: less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you would find among clergy!
What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature while it is “sir” to his face and “pig” or worse to his back.
He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.
But…If the policeman is neat, he is conceited; If he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting; if not, he’s a grouch.
He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.
But…if he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be the first to an accident and be infallible with his diagnosis. He must start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp, or expect to get sued.
The police officer must know every type of gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him…he’s a coward. If he hits you…he’s a bully.
A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where the sin is and not partake.
A policeman must from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and tell you who the criminal is and where he is hiding.
But…if he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he is a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he is a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen-but refused to remember.
The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.
And of course, he’d have to be a genius…for he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.
Paul Harvey’s father was a Policeman killed in the line of duty in 1921 when Paul was only 3 years old. Here, he opined on the role of the police officer. God bless our Police, Firefighters and First Responders! ~JGT~