I have always had a great deal of respect for law enforcement people, the men and women who go into harm's way to keep us safe and on the straight and narrow.
My father was a deputy sheriff during the years I was growing up and I learned a lot about what a policeman does by watching him. I even rode with him in the squad car several times back in those days when it was permissible, before everyone got hyper-sensitive about liability issues and political correctness.
I saw dad come home several times to change his uniform when it was blood-stained from helping out at traffic accidents. I felt terror when the phone rang at home and he grabbed a shotgun and ran for his police car. I could see how bad he felt when he had to go with a clergyman to tell a family about the tragic death of a loved one. I saw him give up many vacation days and days off to testify in court or to work a second job to make ends meet.
Policemen don't get enough of anything: respect, appreciation, pay, days off, even sleep. It's a high stress job with lots of hazards. We owe these people a great deal.
Policemen form bonds of mutual friendship and support, and they have a language all their own. I'm familiar with some of the terms, but I have my own interpretations, of course. I do hope the law enforcement professionals here on the Wasatch Behind have a sense of humor. I think they do. They couldn't do their jobs without one.
A traffic stop is what happens when a cow runs across the freeway.
Human rights are what you try to teach people in jail. Criminals are in jail because of human wrongs. Human rights are better.
"Lock up" is what you do to your tires when you get an emergency call to go back the way you just came.
Probation is when the bad guy gets a second chance to do the crime again.
Restitution is a state-run institution with color TV where criminals don't have to work while incarcerated.
Corporal punishment is when they blame the squad leader for the sins of the Captain.
Capital punishment is when going to jail hurts a criminal's ability to raise money to finance his next illegal venture.
White-collar crimes are committed by clergy.
Blue-collar crimes are committed by bad cops.
Starched-collar crimes are committed by red necks.
"Criminal Justice System" is when the justice system fails to provide justice to the point of being criminal.
"Hate crime," is a sentiment expressed by victims.
A "court date" is when you take your girl to the county courthouse as you testify in a criminal proceeding, and then take her out to dinner on the way home.
Warning shots are when the doctor gives you an injection for high blood pressure.
Juvenile court is when everyone acts like children.
Docket is what they do with the ship of state when it runs out of steam.
Bailiff is what a criminal hopes to do by calling his brother. He might make Bailiff his brother is willing to loan him a few bucks.
The SWAT team rides the mosquito abatement truck as it makes its rounds.
Tazer is a brother to Bowser, the sheriff's ugly dog.
CPR is cardio-pulmonary-recuperation. Something you hope happens after you are forced to tazer someone.
"Squad cars" are when cops show up in groups of twelve, each driving his own vehicle.
MACE is a face that hit the windshield.
A radar gun is a .40 Smith & Wesson with a cool, modern sighting system.
A speed trap is when some clown stops in the middle of the road as you try to get around him to make a traffic stop.
EMT is what your fuel gauge shows after a high-speed chase.
10-4 is your work schedule. Ten hours on duty and 4 more on-call.
"Backup" is what you do when you get an emergency call after going to bed. You get backup.
If you haven't already done it today, give a cop a hug. Let them know they are appreciated.