Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t mind, I’d like to write a column that is not necessarily funny, nor is it necessarily life-changing or radical in any way.
This week, one of my Facebook friends — well, Facebook acquaintances — decided that she should share with the world her problems with the law enforcement community. She changed her status to let the entire Facebook world know that she was given a $170 speeding ticket. Now, that’s not what I have a problem with.
The next part of her status said “F*** the police” followed by an entirely unnecessary amount of exclamation points. I think it also goes without saying that she did not write “f***,” but I feel that the indignation that printing the f-word would cause would take away from the point of this column.
I have seen a lot of this recently. Multiple friends of mine, and people I don’t know at all, have been bad-mouthing the police because they wrote tickets the offenders found unnecessary. I’ve heard the entire gamut, from being pulled over on a bike to running stop signs. And everyone seems extremely upset at the police for these things.
Alright, allow me to take off my hilarious satirical suit and tie and put on my elderly and wise sweatpants and cardigan. Have a seat, loyal readers, and listen to Uncle Brian. I think it’s about time we had a little talk.
First of all, the police are here to do good. I sincerely believe that. Whether or not you’ve read or heard differently in recent times is irrelevant; I do firmly believe that a vast majority of police officers are here to do exactly as their motto says: To protect and serve.
The fact that you got a $170 speeding ticket means that a police officer found you to be driving at an unsafe and possibly reckless speed, and therefore he should find a way to try and convince you to not do that again. The fact that you got a ticket for running a stop sign means that a police officer saw you roll through a stop sign, and you probably shouldn’t do that.
I’m not saying that I am without guilt. On the contrary, I do drive in excess of the speed limit at times, and I have rolled through my share of stop signs.
The difference between me and you, it seems, brings me right to my next point: If I get pulled over, I won’t be angry at the police officer who did it — I’ll be angry at myself. You broke the law, and you better be ready to face those consequences.
It seems like we, as a society — or perhaps just a college campus — have not quite learned that our actions have repercussions, and, at times, the police are here to be that repercussion.
As an example, my roommate, and one of my best friends, recently got a speeding ticket. However, when he got home and told me about it, he didn’t badmouth the police, nor did he say how unfair it was.
He simply said he was upset and was angry about having to pay a ticket. He accepted responsibility for his actions.
CSU, it’s time to start taking responsibility for our actions. I don’t want to hear about how unfair the police are anymore, because, let’s face it, they’re not being unfair. I’m just going to go ahead and assume that they don’t necessarily enjoy writing tickets, but they find it to be an evil that they have to face every day.
And police officers: You have an absolutely thankless job, but I feel it’s about time that someone said thanks. Thank you for the ticket that I know you will eventually write me; maybe it will be just the kick in the jeans I need.
Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.