Policemen Don’t Always Keep Us Safe

In school I learned early on the policeman is our friend. All our schoolbooks told us so.

He is always there to help you.

Vintage schoolbook illustration “Greenfield USA” illustration by Tom Hill 1964

He keeps us safe.

He keeps children safe.

He keeps children safe in school.

How Do You Keep Safe?


What do you see in the picture that tells you the policeman is a kind and helpful person? Do you think he likes children?

But today schoolchildren are learning a vastly different lesson. It’s safe to say the policeman doesn’t always keep us safe.

Ask the people of Uvalde

The more we learn about the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School the worse it gets.

In fact, it is painful.

It is anguishing

What Would Be The Safe Thing to Do?

A new timeline raises questions about the police response. The police were on the other side of the door while children were bleeding out.

Children called for help.

The policemen waited.

Children are dead because it was a botched response.

Vintage schoolbook illustration

The policemen that day were not helpful.

The policemen that day did not keep them safe.

The policemen that day were not heroes. They were cowards. They placed their own lives ahead of the lives of children.

That is not right. That is wrong.

vintage schoolbook illustration policeman

Vintage schoolbook illustration “Greenfield USA” illustration by Tom Hill 1964

That day in Uvalde,  the policeman did not do a good job. He did not help when things went wrong.

In fact, he was an abject failure.




  1. Sally, when a plane crashes the pilot union and airlines actually do a good job of trying to get to the bottom of why the plane crashed. Hero Sully Sullenberger was the right person to be in the pilot’s chair when he landed the plane in the Hudson River as he had studied crashes and actually served on a committee to do so on occasion.

    The police need to treat all shootings with the same level of pursuit for the truth. Too often, the police union looks more to exonerate the officers of blame than find out what happened. I would not want to be a police officer as the job is hard and requires quick judgment. Good police officers sometimes make wrong calls, so we and they need to learn from it. And, like society, some police are more biased to act, especially against people of color.

    To be frank, per the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, the training of officers must be continual on how to anticipate and react. A police officer’s gut reaction is based on experience and training, so to make better decisions requires diligence to that cause. Plus, we must have more mental health professionals involved with suspects who present certain mental health issues. These interactions have been shown to save lives, including the police officers.



    • Policing the police has always been fraught with great problems, especially when it is an internal investigation. In NYC they famously had a special task force to look into police corruption and questionable behavior.


  2. Pierre Lagacé

    Off topic although somewhat related Sally…

    Supreme Court says Constitution protects right to carry a gun outside the home

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One response to these school shootings is to put more police in schools. We don’t even have school nurses (much less trained psychologists) in most schools! There is evidence that small discipline problems are no longer handled by teachers and deans but by the officer, escalating a discipline problem into a crime. And, as a former high school teacher, I can say that having a gun in a room full of children or teens is simply ridiculous. Teachers don’t stand at the front of the room with an eye on the door all day! And a gun in a room full of children must be secured — locked away to prevent a student from taking it. That’s not going to be useful against an intruder with a gun in his hand and an intent to shoot someone. (The teacher wearing the key to the gun cabinet won’t have time to reach it….) Incidentally, I taught in a then-brand-new (1970) school with steel doors that did not lock from the inside (fire safety) and where office messengers arrived throughout the day to collect attendance, deliver messages calling students to counselors’ offices, etc. We could not see out of the room, because all the (clerestory) windows were above eye level. And the admin office could talk to the classrooms over a speaker, but the teachers could not call the office. Now, of course, we have cell phones….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The ultra-conservative Republicans and the NRA always say that “good guys with guns” will save the day. But as you stated these cops were cowards. Let’s face it, even the cops are terrified of these deadly assault weapons.

    Also, the Save-The-Children crusaders don’t really care about children at all if the lives of children get in their way of keeping access to deadly assault weapons. The far-right hypocrisy is astounding!

    Oh,… and there’s the delusion that school teachers should learn to use guns for future mass shootings. The Republican delusion is astounding!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: