If you watch the mainstream media for any length of time, you’ll notice something about law enforcement coverage. Most of the time, news stories about police are negative. Like any other occupation, law enforcement has its small percentage of spouse and substance abusers, as well as corrupt or just inept individuals. However, because the news media highlights negative events, the percentage of coverage of the “bad guys” (and girls) of law enforcement is much higher than the silent blue majority of officers who practice excellence day in and day out.
The motto of the news media is, “if it bleeds, it leads.” By nature, news coverage focuses on unusual events because advising readers that 600,000 cops nationwide all did their jobs well last week doesn’t sell newspapers. When coverage focuses constantly on the poor behavior of a small number of police, it gives the false impression to the public that the majority of cops are crooked, inept, or bullies. Please note that we rarely hear of crooked, inept or bullying engineers, butchers, secretaries, and people who work at Walmart identified by occupation in media stories of their arrests.
Only police officers and a few other professions have the dubious honor of having their type and place of work all over the headlines when they do something wrong. As we all know, while the majority of the coverage is negative, the vast majority of law enforcement members execute their duties professionally, for relatively little pay, at great risk.
The coverage of the police response to Occupy Wall Street has been particularly rough recently. Ready for some great police news that you probably won’t see on CNN? NYPD shootings are at an all time LOW. Authorities attribute this to increased training and incredible restraint by officers.
New York City has 8.2 million residents, plus many commuters who return home to other areas away from the City after work. In NYPD’s 23 million encounters with people in one year, they shot at suspects only 33 times. Eight suspects were killed and every suspect killed was armed. Thirty three out of 23 million. Simply unbelievable
Hats off to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and all of New York’s finest! In spite of some dubious leadership from New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Kelly has led his men and women to an absolutely astounding record of professionalism based on 2010 statistics.
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