Parable of a Police Chief

  The big city of Risen Star, Texas was all abuzz about the coming Police Chief, who had just been elected by popular vote. The former chief had died and the city council had provided a public election by popular vote. It was necessary to get him in as quick as possible because of the department need of a leader and the city's need of a top cop.

  He had called for a meeting of the whole police department early on Saturday morning, He wanted to take an opportunity to become well acquainted with his officers, and to initiate some of his plans for the department. In that meeting he began instructing the officers about the need of absolute security in their operations and tasks. They needed to be constantly on alert of any threat or possible attack from the bad guys. "You never know when a bad guy might try to get you." The new chief gave some further possibilities of trouble, citing some examples he had heard about in other departments.

  A few days later he initiated some procedures for patrols to be on the watch for potential situations; groups of people gathered on a sidewalk, kids playing with rocks, teens laughing as a patrol car passed by. The chief warned that any one of these scenes could result in an assault upon the officers. They just need to be aware of their surroundings.

  One new procedure was that there would have to be two officers at a normal traffic stop, one officer approaching from the drivers rear left side, while the other officer took position behind the vehicle. "There is always the possibility that a traffic stop could wind up in a confrontation with a belligerent driver who could possibly have a firearm ready to attack."

  During the following weeks, regular morning meetings were held on time with more detailed directives. All the while, the chief had requested from the city council permission to add a lot of security around the police station. The front entrance was upgraded with double doors, where people entering had to wait to be buzzed in. No one would be heard or able to communicate without first showing a valid ID. "You never know when some nutcase might try something and cause damage." "Lots of those people out there have it in for policemen."

  At one morning meeting the officers were given a new order. If on patrol, they spot a group of people on the street, the officers should report it and with backup they should investigate the gathering to find out what they are talking about. "You must realize the crowd may be plotting against us."

  Slowly but surely over a couple of months, the chief had persuaded his troops that the community regarded the police department as 'the enemy' and that "we have to expect anything."

  The officers were encouraged and ordered to make their homes and families more secure; security systems, guard dogs and regular patrols. Some of them moved out of their familiar neighborhoods into gated areas adapted for their needs. "You must not become familiar with your neighbors because one of them might be plotting against you." The work schedule was set up so that police officers rotated at irregular intervals, so that no one could track them as individuals or as a department. Their uniforms were changed into outfits that resembled black ops and they almost constantly wore body armor. Instead of side arms, they were required to carry large caliber automatic rifles, and the automobiles were traded for armor plated SUV's. Every civilian contact had to be recorded officially with the subject of the conversation documented. The officers eventually were forbidden from having personal civilian friends because such fraternizations might jeopardize the security of the department. The personnel themselves were required to undergo periodic tests to determine......

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