Liberal v conservative tug of war
There has been a tug of war of sorts between the liberal and conservative views in policing for most of the 30 years I was a police officer. It started in Ernst in the late 70’s
The liberal view goes like this; youth is sacred. We must not discourage our youth with stigmas of criminality. We must try to understand their unique and individual proclivities in order to get them by their naturally rebellious impulses, with the least trauma to their individual psyches as we as a nation may inflict.
The conservative view is a bit less wordy and gets to the point. We must give our youth a REASON not to do things that harm others in society!
Conservatives say, liberals are sticking their heads in the sand by not holding youth accountable for their actions.
Liberals say, conservatives are mean and insensitive!
Here is what I say in the early 80s I dealt with a group of at risk youth who were robbing elderly citizens and assaulting them in the process. When the victims complained they were harassed and threatened in order to get them to drop charges. The perpetrators were high school aged youth and attended class at one of the local high schools.
It came to pass that they assaulted and robbed a 74 year old women from the poor section of town. They took her entire months social security, and hit her over the head for her trouble. I learned who they were from responsible members of the youth community who did not believe that this was an appropriate thing to do to a poor grandmother in the United States of America. I agreed with their assessment of the situation
As a side note: The reward for feeling this way for these kids was to be called snitches, Hollywood movies refer to them in terms like “ Dirty Informers” “ Stool Pigeons” “ Rats” and the like. Some times when I hear these things the Spirit of SLAP comes over me. It’s hard to restrain myself.
To get back to the story I jumped through all the hoops and got the court to issue an arrest warrant.
At 09:00 on a Monday morning after picking up the warrant. I entered the class room of the ringleader. I identified myself to the teacher and walked over to the subject of the warrant. I jerked him out of his seat and cuffed him up in front of the class. I said this is what happens when you rob and beat up a grandmother and intimidate a witness in River City. I took him out of the class in tears. There were no more robberies and assaults of elderly citizens from that group on my watch. The tears of the youth continued in the court room. What happened there I address in my book coming out this winter, A View from the street / River city Policing.
S Henry Knocker