Friday, August 12, 2022

You Can't Elect a Friend

I'm reading a lot of apocalyptic predictions from one side and a lot of gloating and 'I told you so' from the other.
Just a reminder: NO politician is your friend. None.
It's all about money, and power. One side ties your hands and demonizes your profession, and the other sees you only as a tool, an investment, measurable in credit and debit columns, and prone to discard the tool when it costs too much.
Or when it's broken. Or old.
*photo from Wisconsin State Patrol FB


I'm reading things about proposals for changes to benefits and retirements at federal levels, modeled on Wisconsin's sacking of their public employees system and worse. 
That's not going to be a morale booster, or recruiting asset, and believe me, where the federal model goes in cost-cutting, Republican statehouses will follow suit.
The civil service system isn't perfect but it was established to fight the corruption and nepotism of the political spoils system and it is imperative that a revolving door of patronage is never again permitted, at the federal or state levels. 

If you don't think it matters, that's likely because so far, it hasn't mattered to you
Ask any officer from a small department who works at will just how much it matters. They spend every working hour one bad boss, one "wrong" arrest, from the unemployment line or the courtroom. 

I've had officers from 'conservative' states, especially those with no workplace protections like POBR and that adhere only to federal OSHA standards (read: exempting government agencies from OSHA's own regulations) tell me of so many dire management abuses: 
from failing to provide safety equipment, and basic vehicle maintenance, to officers being explicitly instructed not to record overtime, to some who have worked 30 days and more without a day off, or been threatened or fired for voting the wrong way. 

In every state, by the way, failure to accurately record work hours violates many, MANY laws.
But who will hold them accountable?

Pay attention to politics. Don't make decisions on what candidates say, but on what they do- even more so once they're in office. 

How are your representatives voting on topics that matter to you? When they have the opportunity to make your job safer, more rewarding, your retirement more dignified, your enforcement of law more objective, do they follow through? 

"Backing the blue" is just lip service if they blink when it costs. Waving a blue line flag is worse than empty symbolism if they won't follow it up with the legislation that lets you do your job, survive and thrive, and find the resources you need, when you need them. 

It's hypocrisy. 
That thin blue line is your family crest. Don't allow it to be co-opted by someone who wants your vote, but doesn't have your interests in mind on the voting floor.