My colleague sent me a blog post of the wife of a cop who was lamenting the dangers that her husband faces in his profession. I get it, it’s got to be nerve-racking having a loved one with a job where there are serious health and life risks. But this blog post annoyed me. It’s not so much that the author bugs me. What bugs me is the acceptance by the general public that a police officer’s job has to be so dangerous.
I work at an oil refinery. We have hydrocarbons, acids, hydrogen, etc. flowing through pipes and vessels. Sometimes they’re at conditions where autoignition will occur if the fluids breach their containment. We have materials, such as acids, that would cause you to die an absolutely horrible death if you were exposed to enough to them. We have pressures high enough throughout the refinery that would obliterate you if there were an explosion. We’ve got machinery that would tear or slice you apart if you got caught in it.
A refinery has innumerable hazards, but my refinery is a safe place to work. We spend a lot of time and resources identifying hazards, managing risks, and putting safeguards into place. This happens to the point that I feel safe being around the equipment (I understand how to take care of myself and I also understand what is done to make everything run reliably).
Why would a company do all of this?
It’s because the company values its employees and its equipment and resources. Even ignoring all of the capital costs of the property, it is extremely expensive to replace people with skills, knowledge, and expertise necessary to successfully operate the refinery. The company invests a lot into its employees, so there’s a strong incentive for the company to protect its assets. “It’s just the nature of the work” is simply a terribly unacceptable response to the problem. And of course, there’s the purely human element of having concern for each other’s well-being.
If my workplace became unsafe, t would be silly for me to blame the things that could hurt me.
If people want to say that the police have a dangerous job, who else is there to blame other than the employer? The government itself is the enemy of the safety of the police officer. While it is true that there are emotional appeals within the government to keep cops from getting harmed, they’re expendable enough that the government won’t work all that hard to keep them safe (i.e. abolish stupid laws that cause so much unnecessary contact).
Why wouldn’t the government have an incentive to keep their own police officers safe? There are two major reasons in my view. The first is that the government is not under a profit motive. They’re not truly on the hook to recruit and train new cops if they maim or kill members of their current force. They have a tax farm: taxpayers are a captive audience for securing funding for any government endeavor. The government doesn’t need to satisfy the wants and needs of its “customers,” they just need to point a gun at them to get their money. The second reason is that the job of police officer is simply low skill employment. To be a cop, it’s more important to eat up their lies and propaganda than to have any sort of skill set.
The police are not special when it comes to any other profession employed by the government. Soldiers, politicians, teachers, etc. all have a sort of mystique surrounding their jobs. They’re called “servants” and people love to claim that they don’t do their government jobs for the money. It makes perfect sense that this would be the propaganda we’re fed about government jobs. The deception is necessary to make people believe that the jobs the government offers aren’t overpaid, gravely distorted, or flat our unnecessary.
Reprinted from McFloogle.com.