This phenomenon is seen all through government. It’s not just the police. Too many public employees forget that it is the taxpayers who provide for government. It is we who are ultimately in charge. We write the checks.
But don’t go telling some government employees that. (I’ve done it multiple times.) They tend to get all riled up when they come to terms with the fact that they are supposed to be civil SERVANTS.
In the past, however, the right-wing’s knee-jerk tendency to always defend the police would likely have prevented much direct criticism of police agencies themselves. That reticence, however, appears to be falling away, and the cowardice of government law enforcement officials has now become become an open question.
Naturally, this does not bode well for the position of police agencies in the political hierarchy. Law enforcement agencies have long depended on their “hero” status as an important factor in ensuring that police organizations get whatever they want from local governments and state legislatures.
“We’re Experts, Do What We Say”
In response, many defenders of police have become testy and defensive, resorting to slipshod arguments that amount to little more than “you people who aren’t police should just shut up”
A typical example of this can be found in USA Today where Tim Vogt, a former border patrol officer and current instructor at a “law enforcement academy,” denounces any criticism of the sheriff’s deputies involved.
Vogt’s argument? Police should not be subject to criticism “from the unqualified and spineless peanut gallery.”
In other words, Vogt holds that government agents are unassailable experts who ought not be forced to suffer commentary from the ignorant taxpayers who, it seems, aren’t good for much other than paying the bills for law-enforcement agencies.