Things are bad in Santa Fe. Real bad.
Any night you step out of your house in Santa Fe, you may be confronted by police! Not quite to that extent, but there are flashing road signs all over town proclaiming, “100 days and nights of summer! Police everywhere!” And it’s not even summer anymore.
I can understand public safety and trying to stop that last numbnut who’s out drinking until two and then drives home and crashes, but the idea of police everywhere freaks me out.
Yesterday while on my way to work, I saw a new sign covering a city bus. It was recruiting new folks to the Santa Fe Police Department. There were five or six officers in riot gear in a v-formation staring out at me on my bicycle, nightsticks in hand.
As I continued on my ride, it got me thinking about the marketing for recruiting coppers. The last time I was in Albuquerque, there were billboards with a cop in riot gear crashing into the scene on a rope and these blazing fonts that speak to adventure, excitement and the cracking of heads.
I’m not sure that the type of people these ads appeal to are the people I want making judgement calls in tricky situations. Trigger happy, gun nuts who are excited by the idea of getting suited up in riot gear and busting down doors do not seem to be the types who would have the jurisprudence to make good decisions.
It may be the ease of publicizing police abuse on Youtube and the like, but there seem to be a lot more cases of cops cracking heads, tasing innocent folks or shooting the wrong people in the back of the head.
I want police officers who’re attracted to honor and justice, not nightsticks and tear gas. Although, it would be fun to bust down a door sometime or completely level a kid on a bike without worry.
Oh yeah, Santa Fe Critical Mass Rides meet every Thursday at 5:30pm on the plaza. Be there!