My old first sergeant used to have a favorite saying for his junior NCOs. “If you walk by someone doing something wrong and you don’t correct it you’ve set a new standard”. And there have been plenty of times when I’ve seen something that was wrong, didn’t want to correct it but heard that line play in my head and had to take a deep breath and go make the on-the-spot correction.

I should’ve done it this weekend, but the setting was different. I wasn’t in g.i.seany mode. I was just walking through the park for the 4th of July festivities in search of a funnel cake. A quick snatch-and-grab type deal. There was a crepe booth next to the funnel cake booth with four cops standing by it. I’ll spare you the rant about the extremely overweight female bike cop who was both a disgrace to the uniform she was wearing as well as a testament to uniform’s solid craftsmanship. And then there were two cops walking around the sidewalk talking to each other. A few moments later the choir on the bandstand started to sing the national anthem. None of the six cops stopped what they were doing to remove hats, turn and salute the flag and pay respect on Independence Day. There were other vets in the immediate area and none of us spoke to them afterward about their lack of of professionalism. And that’s been weighing heavily on me since. I’m sure it seems petty, but it bothers me to no end. I guess the good part is that it’s not too late to call the complaint line or write a letter to the editor or whatever. It’s funny to me that we’ll complain about a lack of respect for authority figures in this community but those same authority figures won’t turn around present a solid example of good citizenship.


2 Responses to “standards”

  1. I agree with you 100%.

    I, too was sickened this past 4th of July, by the lack of respect when the American flag went by numerous times in the local parade. Really, is it too much to ask for people to stop their conversation, remove their hats, and place their hand over their hearts?!

    • i know! and i try to not get so irritated by normal civilians who don’t do it. it bothers me, but… but cops? people in uniform? they’re supposed to be examples of right. like the weight thing. you’re joe citizen? i really don’t care. but you’re in a service position? not only do you have an obligation to maintain a certain level of fitness, there’s also an image of professionalism you’re supposed to present. and lordy, she wasn’t doing it.

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