Friday, April 22, 2016

Watch this video to get a small sense of what it really means to be a cop yesterday, today and always

By Kevin “Coach” Collins

In the 1960s and 70s a war against cops began. It sprung up in prisons and on street corners of the worst neighborhoods in America. It was nurtured and strengthened in our prisons, mostly by Black and Hispanic men sitting around the yards of places like Sing Sing, Joliet, Chino and Walpole.

The streets were so dangerous that by the early 1970s the New York City Police Department, my Department, was losing 10 cops killed by savage attacks each year. That worked out to 20 dead cops in a 24 month period; one dead cop every six weeks.

As a young street cop I recognized that we were going to get no support from the Democrat mayors that ran my city into the ground, finally bankrupting it in 1975.

As military veterans we were not afraid to stand up and fight – we knew we had to or the next big funeral procession would be for us.

During those days the cops I worked with in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods were actually Urban Combat Soldiers. We were on the front lines trying to keep the lid on the garbage can New York had allowed itself to become.  With nowhere else to turn we turned to each other. Your partner and the other cops in your squad became your brothers. Believe it or not, for the most part the color of the cops you worked with didn’t matter as much as whether they were “stand up” guys.

The fighting words and the scenes in this video ring very true to me because I was there. I was on the front lines for four and one half years.

The way the narrator talks is the way we talked to each other, because we needed to constantly buck up our fellow officers so we could all make it home in the morning after a crazy night of shootings, stabbings, robberies, rapes and overdoses.  

Take a few minutes and imagine yourself turning out every night knowing you could be forced to fight for your life or the life of the man sitting next to you in the Squad Room. Now you can understand why we called these precincts Shit Houses and were glad to leave them behind when our tour in them was over.        

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