Rosemont Public Safety Officers were honored at the recent 2016 Wizard World Heroes Honor Heroes event with awards being handed out to different departments bureaus such as the fire, emergency medical services, rescue teams, and hazardous materials department officials. Lou Ferrigno, Cerina Vincent, Ralph Macchio, Jason Mewes, and Ray Santiago handed amazing Captain America shields to each recipient. The replicas start at around $700 so it was a great reward. So if they aren’t fans of Captain America, they could just sell it on Ebay.
Seeing officers in uniform rewarded definitely helps out law enforcement. Nothing is closer to representing superheroes than law enforcement officers. They literally fight criminals after all like superheroes. I’d say the cops need a social media face lift to help their damaged reputations, and events like these could be helpful as well as media support.
As we analyze law enforcement officers’ reputation, it seems to be worse than the criminals they catch. This can be ascribed to the constant news coverage of arrests going bad and shootings by cops. Rare police violence is often highlighted more than criminals conducting their daily crimes on innocent victims. While wrongful shootings by cops do happen, it isn’t the norm. Lo and behold, criminals have killed 464 people alone in Chicago in 2016. In a total five years from 2010-2015, the cops killed 92 people in Chicago. Few of those are wrongful deaths due to cop negligence. I’d argue most cop shootings are often bad in the moment decisions by cops who felt threatened. In fact, one cop opposing black lives matter leader, Reverend Jarret Maupin, who organized several protests in Phoenix was challenged to do cop training. In it he was confronted with typical situations cops encounter, and you can see him “shooting” people in the exercises fast as he can. Through the experience he realized what a hard job cops have. Most of all he probably realized WHY most cop shootings happen. Cops definitely don’t want to do the paper work on why they killed someone so why do cop shootings happen? He discovered the other reason is they are threatened everyday by criminals in varying degrees. One thing is for sure. When cops are called to a scene of a crime or pull someone over it is because someone has committed a crime or is suspected of having done so. So this isn’t a what came first the chicken or the egg argument. A crime is most likely committed first, then the cops arrive. Thus, one big key is that the cops are usually dealing with a criminal when these shootings happen, and when criminals are refusing to cuff up or be compliant things escalate. This isn’t a race specific thing, it’s a criminally minded thing. Criminals of any color many times won’t comply with orders given and things can escalate from there.
How people treat other types of people often depends on the media and Hollywood. It is one reason blacks fight for representation in Hollywood as well as other minorities. Cops tend to be united on the job, but not in their media cause and so they are generalized as the bad guys. The media should cover cops and in fact other people in a positive way like teachers, scientists, and entrepreneurs so we can highlight the positive aspects of society versus the negative ones. There are millions of individual stories waiting to be told of hard working Americans who do their job with dedication for years and years versus less desirable, plastic, and detrimental stories to society. As I write this there’s a Chicago Tribune newspaper with the front page heading “Tracking 6 Years of Police Shootings.” As usual it’s negative news on the front cover, and even worse it’s something that separates us from aspects in society that we should be united with, in this case the police. Instead, at the least it should analyze criminal shootings and how many innocent people they’ve shot if we really value victims and want to help them. Yet rarely is there public outcry against criminals or gangs.
Due to social proof people will become copycats and do what other people do. So people unite against cops because that’s what is shown on TV. If the media constantly puts it in our face it becomes the norm and “truth.” And although it’s thought provoking, I don’t think anyone wants to live in a society where the cops beat and shoot everyone independent of any crimes being committed. Actually, that’s what criminals have been doing with little to no complaining because many stories aren’t in the media to be “politically correct.” They don’t challenge what gangs do in any real way not even protesting them.
I think empowering and rewarding the creative part of people changes a society’s values. The Heroes Honor Heroes event at Wizard World was pretty bland, characterless, and almost pointless from my point of view. Though I’m sure to the people who knew those officers and to the officers themselves it was a great honor, their individual stories weren’t told and they all looked the same in the same uniform. That is why in any case like the police and other occupations, their individuality has to be recognized. Their stories need to be told as well as other individuals who go through the everyday struggles of life, who are dedicated to some art in an interesting way. That isn’t the status quo and it definitely adds something positive to the world more than criminality, which is often more rewarded and paid attention to in the news and in movies. There’s much more depth in a life of sustained creating versus lone acts of crime, and if we want people to copycat and be more creative with their lives the solution is simple. You show more people being creative and honor that, and because of social proof more people learn to value creativity. There’s way more power in creativity than criminality. All you have to do is look around you because everything created is due to human creativity, which takes time, effort, dedication, and giving. You have people like Officer Norman on social media attempting to change the way officers are seen and his impact has more impact than all the studies and million dollar investments into things than just plain old use of social media. Props to cops who are using social media’s power and to anyone whose rewarding the good guys like the heroes they are.