As we witness tragedies like the shooting in Orlando, daylight executions in midtown Toronto or young children being shot, the confusion among frontline police is stronger now than ever before. There is still a movement to take away much of the power police have at a time when police officers need more. I have spent a couple days speaking with police officers and they are just shocked at what is going on now. The sense is there is more confusion about how they should perform their duties. It is as if police services are being forced to teach a FIDO type of approach, and the frontline do not like it. If an officer finds themselves in a questionable situation because of this confusion they feel more than ever that they are on their own. They know the police service will do everything they can to protect the name and reputation of the service first and worry later about the welfare of the involved officer. I’m not talking about officer safety; I’m talking about procedural questions about the officer performing his/her job.
I have recently been to several police functions and all the talk was FIDO, from all ranks, they are asking themselves questions like; why am I going the extra mile now to help when I know it is not worth it, I have a mortgage and family, there are too many unanswered questions about how I can do my job? This is coming from hundreds of officers, not a handful who are pissed off because their Sgt. wouldn’t give them the night off. This is coming from established first rate police officers who did care at one point. It is not just big city coppers confused but also officers from small police services with the same complaint.
In the past, police work needed the extra mile effort, sixth sense policing or busting a gut to get the bad guy. It seems this effort is quickly vanishing and the decision makers better take notice. They should listen to their concerns and take them seriously.