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Why ‘Blue Flu’ is possible in big cities this holiday weekend

Officers in NYC and, perhaps, other major cities in the nation are allegedly planning a ‘˜Blue Flu’ on the 4th of July. This one day sick out is described as an opportunity to step away from law enforcement due to the lack of support police officers are seeing from their local and national leaders. Many officers in major cities have already walked off of their jobs, retired early, and backed away from proactive policing which is described as initiating criminal deterrence to prevent crimes and instead are only answering calls for service – 911.  The idea of policing began as a result of a need for a discretionary force to quell violence and enforce laws in large cities. Originally, the militia or army was called to quell violence. Sir Robert Peel (London) began with his “Bobbies” in 1829. Although policing was at it infancy, a trend began that we see today in our modern law enforcement officers. Officers were expected to wear uniforms (they looked similar in appearance and could be recognized easily). They also investigated crimes and kept a police presence that allowed for an absence of crime or major reductions in crime.  Sir Robert Peel saw a need for uniformity and cohesiveness to build public trust. His Peelian Principles, or Nine Principals of Policing, are relevant today. Police solve crimes, prevent crimes and build public trust. The latter of these has been significantly eroded over the past month. This is not, as the media would portray it to be, ‘˜alack of public trust’, or “systemic racism by law enforcement’, it is because politicians across the nation have either denounced their police leaders publicly or stood idly by and said nothing to strongly advocate for the profession of law enforcement or the need for police on our city streets.  To understand the problem, let’s digress for a moment and talk about major cities like Washington D.C., Seattle and Los Angeles (to name just a few).  The ebbing away of enforcement of laws did not begin overnight. It took time. The first step was when police were instructed to ignore simple laws – urinating and defecating in public, camping on city streets or using drugs in public areas. Because police have been forced to ignore the small laws, bigger problems have occurred. If you have been to Seattle, DC, or NY, you will remember the strong odor of urine that lingers in entry ways of buildings and museums, the drugged out vagrant aggressively pan handling and the constant scanning of your path to find a safe passage while walking the streets. Not only do the streets of major cities reek of the smell of urine, they are inundated with criminal problems and these problems are only increasing crime and the perception of crime. Crimes against people have been going up over the past few years in major cities across the country. Murders, rapes, aggravated assaults and robberies all recorded by the Uniform Crime Report (collected by over 99% of police departments in the nation). These numbers, no doubt, will be much higher in 2020.  As most of the leaders in this great nation step away from their law enforcement officers, the results have been catastrophic and turning the tide may be impossible for many years to come. This is most unfortunate. Like any profession, we find great people, ordinary people and bad actors among police. The latter draw attention away from the better in every way. Because police are in the public eye (body cameras, cell phones, and other recording devices), they are mostly portrayed as bad actors in need of reform and in need of social change. Nothing could be further from the truth. Police today are better trained and harder working than in any time in our nation’s history. Intense training has prepared them to diffuse most situations effectively and deter crime while communicating better in very tough situations.  Today’s ‘˜avant garde’ resistance to lawful arrests will lead to increased levels of force by our police officers across this great country. Imagine police officers performing their jobs and being forced to increase their level of force (for legitimate arrests) because the public has been trained (through silence and apathy by our political leaders) that resistance is allowed and, perhaps, expected. Some officers will lose their lives in the line of duty or become seriously injured while performing the tough task of keeping our citizens safe.  The Blue Flu will likely happen. Crime will skyrocket. Where legitimate authority was present, others will step into power. These leaders will be drug lords, violent criminals and radical extremists. Although small cities like ours may not see such extreme acts, we will see many of the aforementioned events play out on our televisions.  Pray for our nation and vote for leaders who support lawful behavior. Strongly back leaders who denounce crimes against law enforcement. And finally, thank a police officer for their service and dedication to duty. (Editor’s note: This opinion piece was written by an area law enforcement officer who asked for anonymity due to fear of reprisal.)

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