When I was a detective, I used to always say, "Hurt people, hurt people." Now that I'm in ministry, I find that, "Broken people, break people" is a much more accurate statement.
For more than a decade, my mind was shaped by the environment and culture that is law enforcement in America. You don't always realize how toxic of an environment it is until you step out of it. As cops, we spend our working years swimming in a cesspool of other people's sin, and are expected to step out of the pool clean and unaffected.
In truth, we are all affected, just in different ways. Some of us have our hearts hardened. We become bitter, angry, unhappy and aggressive. Some become untrusting of people. Others become untrustworthy to people. Some sink to the level of society, and become criminals to the criminals. Some of us develop unreasonable fears. We adopt a culture of intolerance, and whole heartedly believe that it is "us versus them" instead of "us for them." Even those of us with the best of intentions exchange our ethics and morality for legal justification. If you spend enough time in a corrupt environment, eventually you change it or it changes you.
I find it ironic that police officers are called upon to protect other families, when many of our own are falling apart. Some of the most broken people I know are cops. I was one of them. Many of us become absentee parents, and insensitive spouses. Our bodies come home at night, but our hearts and minds don't follow. When we should care, we don't, because as humans we've become hollow. Our calling becomes a job, the job becomes a task, the task is to serve the people, but we've become detached. We are sworn to protect, knowing all lives matter, but are only moved to tears when Blue lives shatter. We see so much hate, that we forget how to love. This job holds us hostage, it grips like a drug. We see so much death, that many of us forget how to live. We expect death so much, that it becomes easy to give. Called to protect the people from themselves, it causes one to wonder if we should protect the people from ourselves. More concerned with going home than bringing people with us, it's no wonder that the people turn against and now dismiss us.
But society is broken, and broken people break people, that's just what they do. We were all chosen, the chosen save people, that's just what you do. Live up to those expectations, don't be broken by degradations. Be encouraged, good cop. The people truly need you. And above all else, despite the news, they know they truly love you. But a broken foot can encumber the whole body. And a broken cop may break somebody. Search your own heart, ask the difficult questions. Invite God in, learn new lessons. When you put on your body armor, put on the full armor of God. Good cop, bad cop, to them we're all the same. If you fail to speak up, you are complicit just the same.
"Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don't stand back and let them die. Don't try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn't know about it. For God knows all hearts, knows yours, and he knows you knew! And he will reward everyone according to his deeds." - Proverbs 24:11-12 (TLB)