This is my sales pitch for the ‘Fearkiller’ series, to our nation’s police.
“… The Fraternal Order of Police can directly document 4,000 layoffs, but estimates relying on less direct measurements suggest a more realistic number would be between 12,000 and 15,000 sworn officer positions lost… As this report has shown, the recent economic downturn has placed serious constraints on police budgets and severely diminished the availability of resources.”
I found the above report on the Internet. While it is packed with good information, it is also three years old.
I’m betting that the statistics are out-of-date.
That’s the sad part: knowing that in three years time, funding for police officers has in many cases worsened.
95% of the post-Great Recession gains have gone to the 1%, while the difficulty of police officers’ jobs is only increasing.
Police officers and the average worker in post-Great Recession America are more similar than different.
Let’s run through the common circumstances:
Job security is a memory, yet job expectations increase by the week. Pensions and retirement plans are now gambling chips on Wall Street, as well as pieces of political agendas. Both groups of workers are constantly reminded that they need to be thankful to be employed.
It doesn’t matter whether you wear a uniform or not, the 1% has an agenda to take away more rights from the average person trying to make a living.
This article/sales pitch was inspired by seeing commonalities from the Fearkiller books when looking at our nation’s police forces.
Fearkiller (Volume 1) and Notes from Trillionaire Island: Fearkiller (Volume 2) both focus on the fact that the worker is on the losing end of the modern business proposition, and this situation is only getting worse.
Us folks who aren’t among the 1% need to stick together.
The more I read about the police these days, the more I see how they would be a great audience for my stories. I didn’t write either book with police officers in mind, but my ideas pertain to their world.
While I can’t talk about the true fear that comes from confronting threats in the streets while on the job, I can give police a story about the manufactured fear that precedes downsizings and news of benefits reductions.
No matter the profession, workers of all types are losing control of their lives to a group whose financial worth is only increasing.
Fear and threats of layoffs have become the go-to weapons of the rich. They use these weapons against police just like they do other workers.
Income inequality creates this pseudo-game among the entitled and the game pieces are human beings.
The troubling part is that this group is disenfranchising our police officers and destabilizing their futures just like they are doing to the average person —
Only this group is also placing increased demands on the police officers — because this group is growing more scared of the other disenfranchised citizens — at the same time more plans are in place to disenfranchise said citizens even more —
Do you see the vicious circle here?
I have to thank our nation’s police for putting on that uniform and doing what you do out there, every day.
I don’t have an occupation that is performed in the service of others. You do. You have my respect, and my admission that I don’t say thank you to you all enough.
I’m also a person who is alive at the end of 2014. I find myself muttering WTF when reading the news these days.
Recent police stories are shocking.
I don’t like reading about police unions demanding fines or silencings from professional sports organizations whose players decide to make statements about the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, or Tamir Rice.
These players have every right to speak out. Their right is the First Amendment.
And I’m writing this article right after the NYPD flew the banner telling off Mayor DeBlasio in a rather unprofessional way, then turned their backs to him at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos.
Mayor DeBlasio is wise for talking to his biracial son about interacting with police.
If I sound negative, it’s because I have some insight into police officers’ increasing job stress and I would like to offer this to them.
Though that offer does come with a price tag of $2.99 — ideally, another $6.95 because you liked spending that first $2.99 so much.
I put the words “sales pitch” in the title of this piece because I think my dark comedies would appeal to those who protect our streets.
(Those of you who don’t mind foul language. My books do have that.)
To our police: you, like many workers in America, have fallen victim to a certain modern strain of fear.
This fear isn’t the natural fear that resides in each of us, as an instinct. That fear is a positive entity, the sounding bell for danger.
And that fear is not the subject of my books.
The fear addressed in the Fearkiller series is the monetized fear that makes all of us say, “Thank God I have a job” too often.
Police say this phrase, just like other people.
We all say this so the group at the top can get richer.
That’s not a belief of mine, either. Financial numbers back that statement up.
The greed at the top has gotten to the point where they can’t hide it. And their goal is to cut their own taxes farther. Guess what? Police are going to bear some of the brunt of this tax cut. But… your work expectations are going to increase because of rising income inequality.
The shameful part is that they expect you to do this. And be thankful to do it.
This is the energy I wrote about. I can’t tell you about your day-to-day jobs because I don’t confront criminals and save lives. But I know what it’s like to get fucked by The Man. You all answer to him, too.
When I look at those of you in law enforcement, I think about how drunk on their own greed the rich have become. They are continuing to reduce police pensions and lay off staff as well as cut hours, so police are working more security jobs off-hours to make ends meet. And they are using the brand of fear in my books to do it.
I started writing my stories because I was trying to remember my old self who didn’t spend his life living in fear for his job. Others have told me they liked reading about that.
To our nation’s police forces: I know that each and every one of you wants what is best, just as much as the average person out there trying to make a living.
We all want bright futures. For ourselves and those we love.
No one wants to live in fear.
Chris Maley is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado. Check out his other Medium pieces.
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