What Matters

Is police brutality the next child sex abuse? Margot Patterson makes the connection here. On a dangerous profession:

The pass law enforcement officers habitually get from the public is often justified in terms of the risks they run to ensure public security. They undoubtedly do face danger, but perhaps not as much as people assume. Data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that policing does not rank among the 10 most dangerous occupations in the United States. The riskiest jobs, those with the highest fatalities, are held by loggers, roofers, fishing workers, airline pilots and flight engineers, trash collectors, mining machine operators, farmers, ranchers, electric line installers and repairers and construction workers. An individual is more likely to die in any one of those jobs than in the line of duty as a police officer.

Trash collectors? Fishermen and women? Really?

Among my cousins, one is a retired police officer, and one is on active duty. That said, I have no problem with the notion that a person whose vocation is to serve and protect has an ultimate duty to lay down his or her life for the protection of the innocent. Not to sacrifice someone else for the good of the institution.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to What Matters

  1. Melody says:

    I would never condone abuse of their authority by police officers. However I wish this cop had lived to bring her baby home from the hospital: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/21/slain-cop-kerrie-orozco-was-going-to-bring-her-baby-home-thursday.html
    I don’t know how those statistics were configured, but I would put being a police officer ahead of flight engineer in terms of danger.

  2. Todd says:

    A tragic story. But one block away from my office last Spring, two construction workers fell to their death. They ignored some safety protocols, and each of their families–including their kids–will struggle with the aftermath of that. Does that make for a subjective score of 67%/33%? I wouldn’t say so. But I would tend to trust an agency that gathers data across the nation.

    People engage in occupations that present some danger. That is a choice based on personal discernment and rational judgment. I think we could do better to separate out the issue of self-defense and danger from the abuse of power. Bishops & clergy had their moment of truth 14 years ago. It looks like there is some momentum for local police today. We will have to see how it plays out.

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