Monday, August 10, 2015

Cops: Neither warriors nor heroes

5,000 people at funeral for cop killed in traffic stop

From the East Bay Express:

by Robert Gammon
The increasingly over-the-top funeral services for police officers killed on the job are hugely disproportionate to the dangers of the profession.

...Based on the massive funeral service last week for slain Hayward Police Sergeant Scott Lunger at Oracle Arena and its wall-to-wall coverage, you would think that cops not only have the most dangerous job in America, but also the most important — by far. The huge event, which was attended by thousands of police officers, civilians, and elected officials (including Governor Jerry Brown) and featured numerous reporters live-tweeting the eulogies, resembled a memorial service for a head of state. It was splashed across the front pages of both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune the next day, and the page one headlines in both papers referred to Lunger as a "warrior," while the news stories portrayed him as a hero.

This was not unusual. In recent years, cop funerals around the nation have morphed into giant spectacles. So much so that they've become wildly disproportionate to the dangers of being a police officer and the relative importance of the job.

Although police officers certainly perform a pivotal role in our society and work in a dangerous profession, they don't have the most dangerous job in America, not by a long shot. It's not even in the top ten. 

What is the most dangerous? According to a 2015 Bloomberg News report based on labor department statistics from 2006 through 2013, fishermen have the deadliest job in the nation. In fact, fishermen are eight times more likely to be killed on the job than cops. After fishermen, the other top ten most dangerous jobs in America are: loggers, aircraft pilots, extraction workers (which include explosives workers and oil drillers), iron and steel workers, roofers, garbage collectors, farmers and ranchers, truck drivers, and power-line installers and repairers.

So where do cops rank? Fourteenth, behind agricultural workers (11), construction laborers (12), and taxi drivers and chauffeurs (13). You read that right: It's more dangerous to drive a cab or chauffeur the wealthy in America than it is to be a cop. 

So why aren't there massive funerals featuring governors and mayors and TV news crews when a cab driver or a power-line worker or a fisherman is killed? And why aren't these people referred to as "warriors" and "heroes" when their jobs are more dangerous than that of cops?...

See also this.



At 5:41 AM, Blogger Mark Kaepplein said...

It more security theater and job security with some muscle flexing by the unions. Not just police unions, but firefighter unions that do big turnouts when a member dies. Odd why unions do less when a steelworker dies on the job, however. Perhaps the pageantry grows out of military tradition where dressing up and putting on a show is all part of the job.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Cops are often bullies who become crybabies when one of them is killed.


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