Three Chicago police officers have been murdered in the last two months, the most recent of whom was Michael Bailey, who at age 62 was only weeks away from retirement. On the morning of July 18, Bailey had finished an overnight shift guarding the home of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and was in front of his own home cleaning his new car, which he had bought as an early retirement gift to himself. He was still dressed in his police uniform when someone tried to rob him. Police officers everywhere accept the risks to life and limb attendant to the job, but it’s generally taken for granted among cops that the uniform will serve as a deterrent against being robbed on the street. What level of depravity has a city reached when a uniformed police officer is no safer from a street robbery than anyone else? More important, what is to be done about it?
…I suspect that he would agree with me about what something will be done about it, whether officially or unofficially. The police’s ability to function on the street is predicated on criminals fearing them – at the very least, fearing the consequences of killing them – and the police know it.
This is a depressing topic: I will now address something else.