The CHP has a code of honor. It states:
I, a member of the California Highway Patrol,
subscribe in word and deed to the following:
"To serve the United States of America and the State of California honestly,
and conscientiously; and fulfill my oath as a soldier of the law;
To uphold and maintain the honor and integrity of the California Highway Patrol;
Be loyal to my fellow officers; respect and obey my seniors in rank;
and enforce the law without fear, favor, or discrimination;
Assist those in peril or distress, and, if necessary,
lay down my life rather than swerve from the path of duty;
My personal conduct shall at all times be above reproach
and I will never knowingly commit any act that will in any way
bring discredit upon the California Highway Patrol or any member thereof;
To all of this I do solemnly pledge my sacred honor as an
Officer of the California Highway Patrol."
When you owe a group of people who place their lives in harms way for you; When you reward such a small group of community minded souls; you must recognize them at every opportunity. This is a very small attempt to do them justice.
Some time ago, I was asked to give another class to a group of Police Officers. While teaching them, I found, once again, that they were the best students I've ever taught. More then Firemen, terrific people, more then 1st Responders, the Officers came and went in the daily classes as emergency calls needed responding to. I sometimes hear people put them down. I hear them say they are too authoritive, too demanding, too unfeeling and basically too inhuman.
I was honored to wear the badge for 4 years as a part time job. In that time I came to understand why that impression may be in some peoples minds. I would like to remind everyone just what a day in the life of The Badge is like....
It starts with a briefing on the crimes of the day before.
It then carries on with a tender admonishment to be safe.
Then its the neverending paperwork to prepare, equipment to gather, and the badge to wear.
When they sit in their cars, on their horses, on their bikes, or stand outside the confining bars... the day begins again.
Much like the day before, they patrol, guard, investigate and ticket those who violate.
Unlike our jobs, they face the worst in us.
The angry, bitter, bickering, debating, denials of our dark face.
Yet, through all the attacks, physical or otherwise, they pridefully stand and apply... the law.
They didnt make the law.
They didnt create the need for it.
They dont administer the law.
They dont judge the law...
...they enforce it.
We make our laws.
We create them.
We are the responsible ones when we break them.
So their day is faced with endless bitterness of our fates.
Its filled with emergencies and confining hates.
Its a day in which their widows face..life with kids an endless fate.
Its a day that is like each day they pridefully wear...
...that shining star ... The Badge.
Written August 7th, 2004