- Maintain the security of by carrying out a control
- The force of policemen and officers
Do not be afraid. We are here to protect you
My mum used to say to me: “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear from the police,” and that’s pretty much the attitude everywhere. The police are seen as protectors of society, and detractors are seen as anti-authority and troublemakers. The sight of a police car, or a policeman in uniform is supposed to make the public feel comfortable, so why do I feel uncomfortable when I see one? Is it that I’ve done something wrong and I’m afraid I’ll get caught, or is it something more than that?
Even though I have been arrested two or three times when I was younger, for what I would call drunken, foolish youth, I have never been in trouble since. Sure I’ve had a couple of traffic tickets for speeding and parking, but who hasn’t?
Every day the police get thousands of calls from people who have been robbed, or beaten, or worse, needing help. The kind of help they need is physical help, someone more powerful than the aggressor.
Who better than a force of armed (in most countries except the uk), uniformed officers of the law to sort it out? They are the legal “muscle” in our society. Men and women authorised to control the population using force if they have to.
Some of you may take offence that I have used the word control, but one thing you must remember is that the police are like the army in that they just follow orders. Laws are passed by our representatives in parliament, and the police are paid to enforce them. So whilst today walking on the street may be legal, tomorrow it may not be. Do you understand?
In the past drink driving was not an offence in the uk and neither was not wearing a seatbelt, but no one was stopped. Why? Because it wasn’t against the law. A few years ago driving whilst talking on a mobile phone was not against the law, so you wouldn’t have been stopped, but now it is. So although all the three things are dangerous to you, or others around you (drink driving, no seatbelt, talking on a mobile phone), you would not have been stopped and charged. It is only once the government pass a new law that the police will stop you. That means the police only act in accordance with the man-made laws.
In some countries it may be a crime to cross the street except at a pedestrian crossing, in others it may not. In some countries it may be a crime to criticise the government, in others it may not. So the police are not looking after the interests of all people on the planet, they are just following orders – however unjust or lacking in compassion they may be.
You may see the police as doing a difficult, but worthwhile job; catching bad people, and dangerous sex offenders and putting them behind bars; but there will always be a bad person and another sex offender to replace the one taken off the streets. They may break up fights in the street at night, but there will always be another just around the corner.
You may think I have a cynical view of the police, but what I am trying to do is explore their true purpose with you, and whether they are a necessary part of modern society.
The job of the police is to uphold the law, nothing more. If it is the law that all women over the age of fifty be imprisoned, they will do it. If it is the law that all dogs be rounded up and killed, they will do it. If it is the law that anyone who has a bald head be arrested, they will do it. If it is the law that people of a different race be rounded up and imprisoned, they will do it. Remember this. Their primary job is not to protect you, it is to the law. If the law involves helping you they will do it. If the law involves imprisoning you, they will do it.
Stop for a moment and think about this carefully. What difference is there between the police forces in africa, asia, the americas or europe?
You may think the police are brutal in some countries, and compassionate in others, but they are just following orders – upholding the law. The compassionate police you see in your own country will treat you very differently as soon as you break a law they are employed to uphold!
So what type of person joins the police force? Does the same type of person who becomes a buddhist monk join the police force? Are they filled with love and compassion for humanity and a desire to see peace throughout the world? Possibly, but I doubt it very much. Like most government jobs, the pay is pretty good, so are the perks and the pension, but this one is so much more than just a desk job.
You get dressed for work in the morning, put on your shirt and your jacket, attach your handcuffs to your belt along side your walkie talkie, your baton slides into place and your gun goes into its holster beside it. How smart you look, as you put on your shiny polished shoes and polish your badge. PC3234. You stand and regard yourself in the mirror, what an important job you have to do today. Upholding the law. To protect and to serve. Saving innocent people from the evil ones. You walk off on your beat, head held high. Look how the people admire you, look how important they all know you are. Suddenly, you see a boy riding his bicycle on the pavement.
“Stop there!” You cry. “Did you know that it is illegal to ride your bike on the pavement, son?”
See, he called you sir, how important does that make you feel?
“Well it is illegal, you can be fined. What’s your name son?”
“John, john smith.”
“Well john, I’m going to let you off with a warning today, but let that be a lesson to you.”
“Oh thank you sir, sorry sir, I’ll never do it again sir.”
The trembling child cycles off, and you walk away, head held high, filled with the knowledge you showed your merciful compassionate side to the young lad. A tourist comes up to you and respectfully asks the directions to some tourist attraction, and you kindly help him. He thanks you graciously as he moves off, and you swell with feeling of pride. What an important job you do.
Suddenly you hear a scream. “He’s got my handbag!”
You look over and there’s the culprit running away on the other side of the road.
“Stop! Police!” You shout and you give chase, quickly catching him before rugby tackling him to the ground and handcuffing him.
“Thank you so much officer,” the lady says as you return her handbag.
“No problem, just doing my job.”
You fill with pride again. Isn’t it so nice to do a job that is so well respected by everybody (except the bad criminals). You finish your shift and return home, tired but happy you have done a worthwhile job serving the law.
So in answer to my question of what type of people join the police force, and before you come up with worthless titles like “law abiding” and “public spirited,” let me add my thoughts.
I would say that the person is someone who enjoys a bit of excitement, likes the control and power aspect of the job, definitely likes the respect he is offered on a daily basis due to threats of arrest, and likes the praise he gets when he catches “bad” people. Am I close?
If you are in the police force what sort of person are you? What do you get out of the job? How far would you go if the law demanded it? Would you kill for a few bits of paper? Oh, I forgot, you do already – for stealing paper, or money, as it is more commonly known. You take another person’s life for something that isn’t real.
Money is only money because we say it is! Do you understand? We kill people who steal. Because the government can’t have everyone running around stealing. We have to make an example of them, and if they don’t stop when you shout “STOP! POLICE!” you shoot them! Dead. And think you’ve done a good job. What gives us the right to take another life just for a bit of paper. Can you answer me that? It’s the law. It’s the law. It’s the law. Like a broken record, that’s all I hear from you!
He broke the law and he paid the price.
Just because we view something as wrong is no reason to kill, whatever the “crime.” If we are to become the compassionate world I believe we can be, we must show our compassion to those who need it most, and those people are the ones who have wronged us. By helping them to understand compassion we are helping the rest of the world. No longer will they be a threat to us or anyone else but they can help others find the way.
Sorry, maybe I believe in humanity too much. Maybe it is too much to ask of the supposed most intelligent species on the planet. Just one thing though, I have never been able to understand why other species do not need their own police force! Ah, maybe they’re not intelligent enough to need a police force. You see, the more intelligent you are, the more you need to be controlled. Imagine if the lions had other lions patrolling to make sure the rowdy lions don’t get out of line!
You see, to me, it doesn’t make sense why such an intelligent species needs this amount of controlling, surely we should be able to work out how to live together peacefully in a community without the need for other humans to stand over us with batons and weapons just daring us to do the wrong thing.
Maybe that’s just the way it is to be. The price of intelligence is submission to control. Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense to me.
Does that make sense to you? We should not be controlled by anybody, let alone some stranger in a uniform with a weapon.
Maybe the police force is the conscience we are missing in our lives, but surely if that was the case it would be better to use priests and monks for that job; to help us understand where we could have done better.
I think this is more to do with keeping the rich and powerful safe from us, the common man. The working man. If you have nothing, what does the robber steal? Think about this carefully for a moment. In order to rule, there must be order and for that to happen there must be control and that control must be a deterrent to all who try to go against the system. Does that make any sense to you?
The way the media and the government portrays crime, is as an epidemic. According to them we aren’t safe even in our own homes, let alone walking the streets. “The police need more power,” they say. So now we have random checks. We are now being asked to carry identification to prove who we are, just in case we are a criminal or a terrorist.
We must have order. Yet there aren’t millions of terrorists and criminals out to steal from us or kill us, and even if they did, money is just paper, and my life is just a life. None are permanent, so why are we getting so worried about it all? Why is there now a panic in the governments of the world?
Because as most people know deep down, none of this is for us. It is for the powerful, the influential and the rich. The police force exists to protect them and their interests. This may sound crazy to some of you, but I urge you to think about this carefully. You only have to watch the police at work at any demonstration against government policy to know that even in a democracy, you’re not in charge.
In the uk, many thousands of people marched to stop the prime minister taking us into the current war in iraq, but did it make any difference? No. We are the people that the government supposedly represent, but who are they really representing? Themselves and their ideologies and interests? Who are the police force really protecting?
Unfortunately, If you are unlucky enough to be ruled by a military junta, or you are ruled by a lunatic, you may find that the police will arrest you just for breathing the wrong way, but it is interesting to note that when the ruler changes, so does the attitude of the police. A policeman who yesterday beat you up for walking on the wrong side of the street now smiles as you pass him. A policeman who last month arrested you for speaking at a rally against the government now joins in as a member of the crowd.
So why does the most intelligent species on earth need all this protecting? Are we not strong, are we not able to sort our own problems out? Are communities and families (of which all criminals are a part) not able to help the people involved in crime? Why do we have to let a system deal with what is essentially a human problem?
Greed and violence. That’s what the police stop.
The way to transcend those two vital things is through awareness of the self in action. When we can go beyond greed and violence, the police force will be no more. There will be no justification for any government control and subduing of the people. The policemen and women of the world will be on the streets looking for another job, and this time they will have to earn respect from the public, not demand it with the threat of arrest. They will have to seek their thrills elsewhere in life and hang up their weapons and handcuffs.
If you want to see a world free of police watching your every move through cctv, and controlling what you do and say then you had better listen up! No matter who you are or what you do the only way forward is to go beyond greed and violence.
Understand yourself. Become aware of your greed and your anger which is violence. Learn to love. Live your life in an authentic way and before long the sound of the police siren will be a distant memory, for if there is no crime, surely there is no need for a police force.
Sorry, am I dreaming of a utopian society? I don’t think so. But if I were and it isn’t possible to live without a police force, wouldn’t it be a sad day for the human race that we cannot live peacefully together on this planet we have to share together?
As we close this topic, please remember this. Policemen and women are not people to be looked up to, nor looked down upon, they are merely people who do a job, where they do whatever they are told. They have no minds of their own, so you should feel sorry for them not angry against them. They have no awareness of what is right action and what isn’t, they just follow orders.
So next time you are running away from a bank robbery in a country with armed police, and they shout: Stop! Police! I would stop. After all, losing your life over a couple of bits of paper isn’t worth it. And your life certainly doesn’t mean anything to the officer who shot you. He was just doing his job. Upholding the law.
by alan macmillan orr
‘the natural mind – waking up’