North Alabama’s third best news source WAFF (behind The Onion and the FreeMatt Podcast) put out a piece on how ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency) was changing their recruiting policy in regard to how it recruits future candidates for the marine patrol. WAFF mentions that “no longer do Trooper Academy graduates have to spend time on the road before moving to Marine Patrol, if that’s something they choose to do”. There were further concerns about how they were going to find qualified candidates. Here is where the unbridled “Mattastic” truth comes through:
Road experience was the least of their worries. WAFF missed a big point. Law enforcement in my region hasn’t been known to recruit properly to begin with. It is a running punch line that they only hired their “cousin’s kid” or anyone who might have worn a sheet over their head in the past ten years. I had seen a little of this firsthand.
I wouldn’t let these people know that you had ever been in community college. I also wouldn’t put more than four words in your sentences when you talk around these folks. I have seen these people in action, (I seldom have met the shining examples of public servants that people talk about but they are out there). Anyone that doesn’t have a simplistic method of thinking is automatically excluded. I wouldn’t even try to have anyone in law enforcement have a rudimentary understanding of the US Constitution or the concept of negative rights. I know of a few decent people in law enforcement but they are not representative of my region’s educational and ethnic makeup.
The law enforcement leadership complains on their ability to recruit overall but they are wildly blind to the fact that they can’t compete with the wages from technical positions, (never mind the fact that many blue-collar workers can get better working conditions and they are less likely to kill themselves). The leadership can’t get raises or offer some other reason to keep their “underlings” around. (Believe me; I knew at least one person who quit when they couldn’t get promoted and they went to work at a metal mill). They continue to count on having ignorant rednecks who spout “the thin blue line” jargon to fill their ranks but wonder why their jobs can’t keep anyone around. There are only a few hundred hours of sleepless nights or times getting shot at before someone decides that it could be an easier living learning to weld.
I won’t wait up for WAFF to interview me for my end of this discussion. The same reason I didn’t hold my breath waiting for the sherriff’s department to call me back in 2004: I would choke to death like Eric Garner.