Here is one reason that my regard for the police has fallen over the years: Since I was about 25, I have had about an equal number of traffic tickets and robberies. I have had my car broken into on four separate occasions, and have had my garage burgled once, and have had my company's property broken into and robbed seven or eight times. Over that same period I have probably had 8 or 10 tickets (though unfortunately four of them were in the same year, causing me to face losing my license). Can you guess which category the police spent the most time on?
Let's take the most recent example of each. On the ticket side, I was cited for not getting all the way into the right-hand turn lane before making my right turn (really). It was about six in the morning. The cop had obviously invested substantial time waiting at that corner, hoping to catch a miscreant. Then, once citing me, he went through the trouble of making notes on the incident and then showing up on my court date and testifying from his notes to make sure I was punished for my crime.
OK, now the burglary side. My car was broken into in a parking lot at night, and my golf clubs were stolen, ironically at the exact same corner where I was busted for making a sloppy right-hand turn. I called the police. I'll bet anyone who has experienced such a theft already knows what happened. I begged and pleaded to get a police officer out to the scene of the crime. Nope, sorry, too busy. No one would even bother to show up. I begged them, saying that there was a security camera and the crime probably was on tape -- nope, sorry. To even get a police report in the system (which my insurance company needed) I had to go to the police station myself and fill out all the paperwork. When I turned in the paperwork, I asked who would be working on the crime, and they just looked at me pityingly, like a small naive child. Because, of course, no one was going to spend one second on the crime. Just like no one had ever spent a single second investigating any other of the thefts of my property.
So do you see my reason for resentment? I naively used to think that breaking and entering and theft were far worse crimes than making a poor right turn. But, conservatively, America's combined police forces probably spent over thirty man hours making sure I was punished for my traffic violations, while they invested zero time solving a series of thefts.
So it was with dumb shock that I got the news that the Coconino County Sheriff's department had actually solved a petty theft case against my property in the Flagstaff area, had apprehended the criminals, and had recovered some of the stolen property. Now granted, these thiefs were dumb as a post, left what was essentially a calling card on the site, and were convicted felons who were well known to the local police. But still, credit where credit is due. Thanks. Finally.