John Andrist: Would You Like To Be A Policeman?


Cops are on my mind this week. They are on the mind of everyone in North Dakota, particularly Fargo, where one of them was shot to death last week.

He was a 33-year old father of two, trying to establish peace in the midst of a domestic battle that became violent.

As a disclaimer I must tell you my empathy is partly fueled by a grandson — also age 33, also father of two young boys — and also called to the crime scene.

I love cops, and North Dakotans must love them too. In less than a day following the Fargo shooting they had collected almost $80,000 to establish a fund for his family.

The whole city was and still is in mourning.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I love cops, and North Dakotans must love them too.[/mks_pullquote]

Apparently some out-of-state folks elsewhere don’t love cops, and that’s troubling. It’s particularly troubling when politicians fan the flames to make them villains.

In their debate last Friday candidates Bernie and Hillary both ragged on policing. Bernie called it a broken system which targets unarmed minorities. Hillary talked about systemic racism among the cops.

Both blamed police because we have such a high black prison population. That must mean prosecuting attorneys and judges are also corrupt, I suppose, because the cops only arrest and run the prisons after the judge has decided.

We must be extremely fortunate here in North Dakota. I suppose a few of our police make errors in judgment. There are bad actors in every profession.

But in all of North Dakota I can’t remember a single accusation of shooting a defenseless person. We must be lucky.

And we’ve been lucky twice, because we seem to have a kinder, gentler black population than they have in New York and the south side of Chicago.

If it is true that too many unarmed blacks are shot by trigger happy policemen, I’ll bet it is also true that none of those victims were obeying police instructions.

My parents were not privy to parenting advice and instructions. But they were smart enough to teach us to respect authority. Which is more than you can say for the parents who teach their children that they are right and the teachers and the cops are always wrong.

It’s also troubling that the critics don’t cut the police any slack. They are suppose to be supermen, who can face hostility without any fear.

A mean dog can strike fear in me, to say nothing about an enraged criminal who may or may not be carrying a weapon. Just stopping and approaching the vehicle of an erratic driver late at night would give me the jitters.

Before we judge any profession or any minority we should envision ourselves in their shoes.

They call it empathy. I think that’s part of what makes me love and appreciate cops.

Be my Valentine!

I can’t say Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, but it is right there near the top.

How could anyone not love a holiday focussed on telling others that they are loved?

It actually isn’t a holiday. Nobody  gets a day off work. But it is pretty much the only “non-holiday” which doesn’t have to be on a Sunday.

I read this week about some politically correct school district which is ordering teachers not to commemorate Christian holidays like Thanksgiving, Easter, and Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day? Christian? Sharing love is a Christian value?

You might as well ban hugs! Perish the thought.

I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day per se. But I do cherish having a day that’s focussed on the virtues and benefits of universal love. We all have some of it and there’s no limit on how much of it we can have in our lives.

And it isn’t fattening.