Two hands go up or ten toes go up

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Our son-in-law Vince Rice announced this past weekend that he would be retiring from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, effective at the end of this month. Vince is 53 and has spent 32 years as a member of the patrol. I’m sorry to see him retire. We are all a little less safe because of his leaving.

Vince married our daughter Andi 20 years ago this month. I knew Vince quite a while before they got married. He was the zone sergeant in this area when I was still on the bench. He was tough as nails. Police officers need to be tough. They put their lives on the line on a daily basis. We owe them a lot. I commend Vince for his service. 

Years ago, police operated under the rule “two hands up or ten toes up.” In my opinion that’s the way it should be. The people running the country today would prefer to see police officers in a toes-up posture. That’s really remarkable when you realize it’s residents of our nation’s big cities — those run by Democrats — that suffer the most when police cannot do their job.  

The radicals in control of the Democratic Party hate police officers and have for years. I’ve said that in this column a number of times, but I think most people blew me off. Since 2020, the Democrats have made it clear how they feel. “Defund the Police” was their battle cry for the past two years. Joe Biden recently said we should “fund the police,” but those are merely words parroted by a senile old man. Democrats don’t believe that. 

Police are under attack on all sides on a daily basis. Regardless of what they do, they are criticized. In just about every hostage situation where people get killed, they are condemned for going in too soon or not soon enough. For using too much force or not enough. They can’t win. Doctors cut off the wrong leg and their insurance company pays. Judges make a wrong ruling and get “reversed” by a higher court. Lawyers do the wrong thing, and while many of their acts are intentional, nothing happens. Same with reporters, who usually will not even own up to their mistakes. But when the police officer does something radical Democrats disagree with — even though the vast majority of people think the officer was justified — he or she can suffer a serious financial penalty, or worse yet, the loss of freedom.   

Although I’ve been retired for more than 20 years, there are three troopers still serving that I recall as being particularly good officers: Kent Kreftmeyer, Bruce Baker and Paul Kerperin. A retiree that I think did an especially good job was Luke Vislay. I want to personally thank those guys for their service. I am not saying the younger troopers cannot match up to these men, but I guarantee you the trend is scary. More and more law enforcement people want to retire and fewer and fewer people aspire to replace them. When Vince went on the force 32 years ago, there were 4,000 applicants for the positions available in his class. Today there are 300 applicants per class. Will there be a time when no one will take those jobs? The Democrats are working toward that goal.

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