Respect Versus Fear

The vast percentage of our violent crime occurs in minority neighborhoods. According to educational theorists, if the police can earn the trust and respect of people in these neighborhoods, crime would drop exponentially.

I was sworn in as a Chicago Police Officer in November 1977. I hit the street and soon was patrolling one of the deadliest housing projects in the United States, Cabrini Green. There was no respect, there was hate. The people never respected police officers; but they did fear us.

The word respect is thrown around too easily. The criminals in these neighborhoods hate the police and that’s proven on the evening news every night; thugs ambushing and shooting police officers for no explainable reason other than hate.

Still the educated, all-knowledgeable, but inexperienced societal leaders dictate how hard-working police officers should carry themselves. These social mouthpieces judge others by their own set of morals, and this is the first mistake we officers are trained not to make.

President Obama initiated the attack on the police. The far left is carrying it out. The liberals, consisting of thugs, criminals, college educated, well to do white kids, financially backed by a very rich socialist, now take to the streets and challenge police officers at every chance they get. These actions have absolutely nothing to do with respect. Because of a very few incidents, the municipal administrations are doing their part restricting officers rights to personal self-defense. The States Attorneys and the courts are ignoring the legal remedies normally assigned in attacks on police officers. Various layers of our government are deliberately ignoring officers personal civil rights.

Consequently, officers are being disciplined for defending themselves, for speaking the truth, and are being sued for lawful arrests when states attorneys fail to convict. As a result, officers are faced with a dilemma: do police work and get fired, sued, and lose your pension, or, do nothing to provoke the people in these neighborhoods, thus avoiding a political blowup.

One factor that was simultaneously eliminated from the police arsenal was fear. Fear is an interesting deterrent. Respect will get you a hello; fear will get unruly people to conform. At one time, you would never see an activist protestor approach a uniformed police officer, invade his personal space, yell and scream profanities inches from his face, then proudly retreat with the middle finger saluting the officer. In my day, this individual would be taught a lesson and fear would be introduced.

I believe the vast majority of readers loved and respected their mothers. But when Mom sent you to bed at night, everyone went out of fear of repercussions, not respect. When a student turns in homework, it’s out of fear of receiving a poor grade regardless of their level of respect for the teacher. A driver stops at a traffic light out of fear of receiving a citation, not from respect of other drivers.

Fear is a wondrous emotion. It’s almost magical. It controls so much with so little effort. And when the politicians, using the hierarchy of police departments across the land removed fear as a police tool, it simply opened the gates for lawlessness and chaos.

Respect is wonderful, but fear is universal. I am not in any way suggesting that police officers use unnecessary force to instill fear in our community. However, I am saying let the officers protect themselves and others.

Less than one percent of police officers are proven to be negligent. Deal with them justly and quickly. Allow the professional 99 percent of our police officers conduct business with a firm hand.

Finally, protect those who need protection from thugs and criminals that have taken over their neighborhoods. Put fear back in the law enforcement’s tool bag. Fear controls the streets of Chicago, not respect.

Larry Casey – Having had a grandfather and father on the Chicago Police Department made the choice of becoming a police officer relatively simply. Between the excitement of having a real profession and the prospect of following in the Casey footprint, the Chicago Police Department seemed a natural choice. I donned my recruit uniform in November,1977, at the age of twenty-five. After seventeen years of patrolman status, I was promoted to sergeant. As a supervisor I continued my learning and teaching for thirteen years of overseeing young men and women until 2008. I retired at the age of fifty-six after thirty years of a very wide variety of police work and assignments, narcotics, burglary, robbery, community policing, school security, anti-terrorist, CAPS duty, etc..

In 2002 I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis University, and in 2005, I earned my Masters of Science degree, also from Lewis University. After a few months of relaxation I started my new career as an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Wilbur Wright College. I have been teaching there for the last nine years.

Trading thoughts about my police experience led me to write a book of my memories. I did not want to bore people with the typical police stories of shooting ‘em-ups. And seeing I was always a proponent of humor being a policeman’s best outlet for stress and pressure, I decided it was appropriate of me, to write a very different genre of police book. My compilation of short stories is based on the humorous side of police work. Mainly I detail accounts that rarely make their way to the public’s ear. Honesty is also a base for many memories, stories that were too raw or considered too embarrassing for the everyday reader.

I’m very proud to say, I teamed up with the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and I send them a donation for every book I sell through my blog at  www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com/ or at book signings. I have done book signings for charitable events, for police vests, local libraries, GOP sponsored charitable events, local community events and many others.  

My main goal in writing this book was to entertain and educate the public: to show that police officers are fathers, mother, sisters and brothers, etc. We’re real people with hearts and souls. We laugh and cry like everybody else. We change tires and diapers, go to ball games and wash our cars. We’re simply human.