Law enforcement officers are very familiar with being targeted – targeted by the media, targeted by public scrutiny, and sometimes, even targeted in a way that directly impacts their safety and well-being.
Law enforcement officers are targets for a number of reasons:
- They are authority figures – all figures of authority face adversity by the general public who is other jealous of their power, or in opposition to any kind of governing body that restricts their behavior.
- The media gets more interest in controversial stories – questioning the behavior and decisions of police officers naturally create controversy, which have far more public interest than stories that don’t create conversation.
- People think they can do a better job – public interest in the law enforcement field is a wonderful thing. But, with so many crime shows, people start to think that they are qualified to do the job themselves and scrutinize law enforcement when publicly released information about an investigation does not match what they think should have been done.
- People take actions against them personally – an officer upholding the law generally does not have a personal issue with the person that they are arresting. They are simply doing their job, because someone is violating the law. However, people that have been arrested or fined sometimes take it personally, as do their family members. Sometimes, it is easier to blame a police officer than to recognize what they have done wrong and be accountable.