Unless you got a lot of kids and a lot of guns when the bad guys ride up to present their grievances, you better have some backup.
In the early pioneer years, every family had to be self-sufficient and prepared to handle any situation.
Then people started to become urban and it seemed like a bad idea to have everyone packing. Communities started creating sheriffs and marshals and even militias to take care of rowdy citizens. They had the power to form posses from ordinary citizens to chase down bank robbers and cattle rustlers with immediate justice.
Larger cites required a standing reserve to fight fires and keep the peace. Along with teachers and hospitals, the neighborhoods could feel safer with a police force. A man wearing a star and twirling a baton walked the beat and checked to make sure you locked up for the night, directed traffic and called for the wagon to pick up those who had one too many.
Being a mostly law bidding citizen, though I have crossed the line a few times, I appreciate the job that these folks do. All the jokes about doughnuts, the thin blue line keep the bad guys at bay so I don’t have to. I pause anytime I see a police car in the neighborhood but are glad they are around.
When I first moved to this burg, the cops (er, officers of the law) wore brown uniforms. They looked like a cross of an army uniform and the boy scouts. They would come to school and do safety training. They would ride motorcycles in parades. They would ride horses downtown and hand out parking tickets while their horses took dumps on the street.
At the same time, this was the Jim Crow South and though I didn’t see any protest, the coloreds (as they were called then) lived on the other side of Broad Street and it was a dividing line.
There wasn’t much trouble in my neighborhood other than some people going through red lights and crashing in front of the house or those crazy kids drag racing down Grove Avenue. I’m sure there were break-ins and other pranks but I never read about them.
By the time college rolled around it was the mid-60’s and there was turmoil in the nation. Campuses became the hot spots for long hair and wild music and radical ideology. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the college I went to was conservative in a conservative town and no real disruptions ever took place. There was a block party that got out-of-hand and the police brought in dogs and someone decided to tag a car.
Television presented law officers as Joe Friday, Andy Taylor, and Matt Dillon. Then ‘Hawaii 5-0’, ‘Chips’, and ‘S.W.A.T’ came on and policing took a faster pace. The local uniforms changed from brown to dark blue and everyone got more professional.
I personally would not want to do what they men and women sign up for but I appreciate that they are there. If I go to a restaurant and police are seated, I will leave. It is not out of disrespect but that you are wearing deadly weapons.
So the conversation about policing practices will be debated and videos will show up and opinions will be made, they are the best option against anarchy.
Who are you going to call?