Nothing ‘routine’ about any aspect of police work

I believe I am going to scream at the top of my lungs the next time I hear a TV reporter/broadcaster refer to a “routine traffic stop.”

I once wrote that phrase early in my journalism career, only to get a friendly scolding from an Oregon sheriff who told me that “there is nothing routine about any traffic stop. Not ever.”

Lesson learned.

A police officer pulled a motor vehicle over in the Metroplex the other day on a traffic stop. The TV reporter called it “routine,” except that the motorists opened fire on the officer. Routine? Hardly.

Today, some Philadelphia police officers sought to issue an arrest warrant on a suspect. He then opened fire on the cops, injuring six of them. Thankfully, none of the officers’ wounds is life-threatening.

The gunman is still holed up as I write this blog post. I am hoping SWAT negotiators can talk the dude into surrendering.

Here’s my point: Police work is among the most dangerous jobs there is to do. The men and women who suit up every day and follow their oath to “serve and protect” the public from the bad elements of our society are heroes in every sense of the word.

I truly don’t want to scream when I hear the words “routine traffic stop.” If I do hear them, though, I am liable to lose control. I am going to seek the strength to restrain myself.

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