What Are Policemen Made Of?

“The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman. And, of course, he’ll have to be genius because he’ll have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.” — Paul Harvey

As our nation suffers through the turmoil of violence and attacks on our law enforcement officers, it might do us well to remember what one of our best storytellers once had to say about ‘what policemen are made of.’ The great Paul Harvey once opined that policemen were just like us, yet at they same time, they were completely exceptional.

Take some time today to thank those who make their living protecting the rest of us from danger. They need our support now more than ever before.

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A Policeman is a composite of what all men are, I guess, a mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity.

What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, they are not commonplace.

Buried under the froth is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit that uniform. And that is a better average than you’d find among clergymen.

What is a policeman? He, of all men, is at once the most needed and the most wanted. A strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “pig” or worse behind his back

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won. But… If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s a flirt; if not, he’s a grouch.

He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer but… If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident, infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.

 The policeman from a single human hair must be able to describe the crime, the weapon, the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But… If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache, to build a case against some felon who’ll get dealed out by some shameless Seamus.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’ll have to be genius because he’ll have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.


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