As I read your response, I get the impression you completely distrust all the people in law enforcement. From the beat cop, the detectives, dispatchers, internal affairs, etc. Everyone, top-to-bottom. That is a shame. There are some bad apples, just like every profession, but by-and-large in my experience law enforcement are regular people. They get up and go to work, they take their kids to gymnastics and baseball practice, they vacation at Disneyland and are concerned with the community. In many cases, they do a dangerous job and are largely unappreciated for the risks and unpleasant things they are required to do on a daily basis. It is easy to vilify those we give authority to, until we need them. Without law enforcement we would live in an uncivilized nation of vigilantism that would make almost all of us victims.

I know I won’t convince you, so instead I challenge you. Reach out to your local police/sheriff dept and request a ride-along. Most people don’t realize you can sit with a patrolman/woman as they do their work and deal with the criminals and victims. See what they see. Put your safety on the line. See how indignant people are, even when they have committed an infraction or crime. Watch how they are treated, for doing their job. Then, get to know them. Ask about their family, what they are concerned with in society, and why they choose to put on a vest and go into the night to respond to fellow citizens asking for help.

The point is, if we don’t speak from experience, perspective, and knowledge, it is easy to de-humanize others. I do give the people in blue the benefit of the doubt, because I know many of them and have done ride-alongs, helped with investigations, sympathized with victims, and assisted bringing criminals to justice.

Providing law enforcement tools necessary to do what we expect of them, to identify and arrest criminals, is rational. But, I do agree it should not be more than they require. Law abiding citizens should not be forced to surrender our privacy, liberty, or freedoms. But there is a balance as we also don’t want to live in a world of injustice.

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Cybersecurity Strategist and CISO specializing in the evolution of threats, opportunities, and risks in pursuit of optimal security

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