In my capacity as an investigator with the OMI the question was asked, why do you want to be a police officer? The most common answer was because it is steady work with no layoffs, others would say the money is not bad with court pay, but only the smallest percentage would say to suppress crime. The truth of the matter is that power of the position frequently takes over. I’ve known persons who weighed 160 pounds until they put the badge on and in their mind they weighed 200 pounds. I’ve known persons who never won a fight but after they obtain their badge would walk in a bar and state there will be no more profanity because I am in charge. I have always advocated that after graduating from the police academy officers should be required to work a year and then take another physiological test. Over the years I have witnessed untold numbers of atrocities committed by police with a total lack of professionalism. I experienced it personally five times.
I have been asked over the years how did you not become consumed with the power of the badge. My answer was when people obtain a badge for the first time in their lives, a large number think it makes them someone of importance. I have always known who I am and do not need any other verification. I am currently 82 years of age and have observed police first hand—Black and White, males and females—commit crimes, acts of brutality, rob the dope man and take their money, obtain free sex from prostitutes, shake down the gambling joints, numbers writers and speakeasies. In spite of these atrocities I am convinced the overwhelming majority of police are not bad police.
Once again I am requesting a financial contribution for Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)