11 Jun 2013

Police Emotions, Do Cops Care?

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Most of the time, the public sees those in the policing profession as stern, “just the facts” kind of people. Occasionally there will be some who are clowns, especially when amongst each other or who work with children. The public will get snippets of dramatic radio transmissions of an adrenaline filled chase, impending arrest or other exciting moments. Rarely does the public see the aftermath of police emotions after the calls they respond to, leading many to ask “do cops care”?

Survival Mechanisms

After seeing people destroying their lives in addiction, abuse of children or animals, domestic violence and even the often petty, childish behavior that causes them to be called in, police officers develop survival mechanisms to help them cope. Gallows humor amongst each other; police emotions being kept in check in public serves both as a shield to protect themselves and to present a controlled professional presence to help calm highly charged individuals when they are dealing with a call.

In reality, police will respond to calls that pierce callouses they have developed to protect themselves from being emotionally overwhelmed by what they see and experience. Cruelty to children, animals, senseless deaths or violence and innocents they couldn’t save are often what haunt officers even after they have left policing.

Calls and Cases Keep Coming

Though officers are driven to catch bad guys, solve cases and find the missing, the sheer magnitude of these tasks tends to run together in order to keep up with the next, and the next and the next. Given that, it is not surprising for people to ask do cops care?

In the featured video, we see a rare glimpse into the hearts of officers. Located in Cleveland Ohio, three young women were kidnapped and held captive for more than a decade. Though initially considered runaways, as time went on with the families dealing with the horror of not knowing what happened, the search and investigation continued without many definitive leads to follow.

There was even a prison inmate that lived near there who threw a monkey wrench into the investigation by claiming to know where one of the missing victim’s bodies was buried. He was later convicted of obstruction and filing a false police report. Through this frustration and so many others, the officers continued to investigate and search for the missing young women. When they were found, the officers that responded to the scene were interviewed five days after the rescue.

When watching the video, seeing the police emotions; the question “do cops care?” is answered.

How did watching the video affect your perception of whether cops care? If you are involved in policing or know someone who is, is there a particular call that brings an emotional response? I welcome your thoughts and comments below.

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