Sitting on the sidelines?! No way!


In this edition, I would like to share an e-mail I received from a friend I will call Mookie Spicoli, a former Navy SEAL who is currently an overseas civilian contractor.

Mookie wrote:

    "I recently received an email from a friend. He is a law enforcement officer, who served in the Marines prior. He lamented "sitting the sidelines" during the War on Terror. He pictures himself with his Marine buddies taking the fight to the enemy. He honestly wishes he was over there. He feels as though he should be doing more.

    "He is wrong. Although honorable in itself, his opinion troubled me. Sure, wanting to do more for our community is admirable. But he has lost some perspective on his duties. They have become routine. The day-to-day of keeping our community safe has made him feel like he isn't doing his part.

    "I deploy overseas in support of the GWOT. I leave the USA quietly, do my job and come home. I go to Iraq and see the gross inhumanity that comes when the law is forgotten and there are no lawmen to enforce these laws. I've seen women who have been brutally raped and have no police station to run to. I have watched corrupt Iraqi police steal from people unable to defend themselves from these criminals with badges. One thing that keeps me going day to day is knowing that I will go home to our nation. Freedom and security…not in perfect balance, but the best there is.

    "I land at LAX and I am greeted by Customs. They screen me and ensure other passengers are not on Watch Lists. They search for items that may be used by terrorists. They make our border safer.

    "I take a cab home. The odds of me being killed by a reckless driver are far lower than in any other nation. Why? Because the CHP prowls the highways ticketing. And ticketing slows people down, increases driver awareness. It's a fact. These same officers are constantly looking for drunk drivers.

    "When I arrive at my home I walk to my door without fear of mugging. It's very rare here. Why? Because black-and-whites are a common sight on my streets. And our LAPD officers keep their heads on a swivel. The response time is pretty good. From 911 to arrival is usually 5 minutes or less in my city.

    "The bad guys know better. My neighborhood has vigilant lawmen.

    "My home is safe. Burglaries are rare. Many perps are caught. Our officers do a great job.

    "But what really gets me is the risk these officers take everyday. They make traffic stops with no certainty that the driver isn't armed and ready to meet destiny. They are frequently shot at, shot, and killed.

    "Cops are lied to everyday. They see people at their worst moments. They're frequently witness to crimes we don't even wish to speak of. They get harassed for writing tickets and threatened by irate civilians over trivial things, all while doing the job they are ordered to do.

    "And that soccer Mom who calls the Deputy an "asshole" and swears she will "have your badge"? At 3 AM on a random Sunday night when a rapist has entered her home, she will dial 911. Doesn't matter if he is armed, on Crack, or ten feet tall. The nearest LEO will immediately come to her aid. Putting his life at risk to protect her. Many officers are even victims of lawsuits after such heroic acts.

    "And the War On Terror? We have only taken the fight to the enemy. He is running through his neighborhood, hiding. Mostly because of our relentless prosecution of the GWOT. But the guardians of our homeland are vigilant. Officers, Border Patrol, FBI, Sheriff Deputies, and Marshals. They are the front line defense of our homeland.

    "How many NYPD officers died on Sept 11th?

    "Law enforcement officers have averted several attacks in the continental United States already. Their vigilance combined with an understanding of the big picture has crushed Islamic Terror Cells in our Homeland.

    "Sideline my ass.

    Y"ou are the Varsity. Without you, I have no home worth returning to. I sleep well in my sleeping bag on a frozen mountain because I know my family, friends and way of life are being watched over, taken care of, by my Brothers and Sisters who wear a different uniform, but share the burden of protecting our rights and ensuring freedom in our imperfect but wonderful nation, the USA.

    "Thank you for all that you do…your sacrifices, and dedication to community."

    With my sincere admiration,

    Mookie
    Los Angeles

Made my day and put a few things in perspective. Hope it makes yours.

Until next time,

-Shawn

About the author

Shawn Hughes is an often controversial veteran Patrol Officer and Bomb Technician who now works for a Federal agency, but still consults for various agencies and private corporations when he isn’t writing or teaching. His articles have been published in three countries on two continents. He's written for the majority of law enforcement publications in the US, including the NTOA’s Tactical Edge, the IABTI’s Detonator, SWAT, Police, and others. His second book, on obtaining a job in Law Enforcement, is out now, with a third on lock technology in development. He can be reached at srh@esper.com .

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