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There is only one person that can really look out for you

By Michael Dilley, Guest Commentator

To my Law Enforcement friends,

I have always been a supporter of Law Enforcement. Having done that job, I am sympathetic and understanding to the positions officers are often put into. There are many good men and women who daily strap on their vests and stand against the wall for us. My perspective is one of experience and knowledge from being in or around the career for over 40 years.

This is meant as an encouragement and at the same time an admonition to our brothers and sisters in blue.

In a time of uncertainty, like what we are going through right now, it can be very difficult to navigate through situations and know what the proper decisions might be. It’s especially true given the pressure put recently on our Law Enforcement community.

I actually believe that the answer is clear and simple. All of us, as we began our career, in some fashion raised our right hand and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. Including The Bill of Rights and our citizens’ civil rights. It’s probably one of the most guiding documents that helps give us direction on our actions and behaviors.

Our loyalty is to the citizens we serve and not to untrusted politicians who decree and dictate policies and directives, ones that may themselves violate the Constitution. There are processes in place that govern how laws are made which include checks and balances. The processes protect the Constitution and us as a Law Enforcement Officers. Local Law Enforcement is not the Governor’s personal Police Force. That’s how Socialist Dictators in other Countries operate.

We should be very cautious about our actions and how they effect our citizens. Those very citizens who live in our communities, do business here. Friends that also have children that go to school with our children. Use caution because those actions could very well violate ones Civil Rights and the Constitution. Politicians who expect you to act on these dictatived decrees do not know who you are, do not care about you, and do know have your back. They will not be there for you if you get in a jam. There is a very good acronym in our profession specifically CYA. There is only one person that can really look out for you and that is you.

One should familiarize themselves with exactly what the Constitution says as well as Title 42, Section 1983. It is the statue that many use to bring legal action against Law Enforcement. You should be familiar with case law that identifies those very costly suits, which have been won against Law Enforcement Officers for violating rights. You should know that Officers can be sued personally, putting their homes and future finances at great risk. I personally would not trust that any organization would have my back if I violated ones Constitutional rights.

As good citizens are pushing back and fighting for their Constitutional rights, there is and will continue to be numerous legal actions against politicians and public officials. Imagine what the fallout will be when courts conclude or agree that these rights have been violated.

My hope and desire for the brave men and women is to follow the Constitution, CYA, and not become one of the legal causalities that might very well occur.

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