Aspiring police officers learning their profession at Durham College are worried about their future and how the public will view them because of a growing stigma towards police officers and the irresponsible manner in which some officers enforce the law.
“I feel like when I get into that field, how people view me is going to go down because of all the negative feedback that people give the police,” says Drake Perry, a Protection Security and Investigations student at Durham College.
Media sources claim that the most recent case in which a police officer was mistaken for being violent was November 30, where a Toronto police officer chased a man from a robbery and proceeded to attempt to make an arrest. Two individuals then confronted the officer during the time of the arrest by trying to pull him off of the man being arrested. The individuals claimed the office was using “excessive force”.
In this case, the officer was not in the wrong and the individuals were charged for interfering with the arrest, according to multiple media sources.
Lucas Robinson, a Durham College Police Foundations student, says police are only recognized for their negative actions, never the positive.
“The volunteering, the safety we bring, is masked by incidents where authority is abused,” Robinson says.
Perry believes that those who have a negative view of the police are the ones who tend to get in trouble with the police.
Perry also believes that troublesome teenagers and youth are the ones who placed a negative view on police.
“It’s mainly teenagers because they’re the ones that have a problem with them [police],” Perry says. “They are the ones going out, getting in trouble, buying drugs and all that stuff.”
Robinson and Perry both agree that police are not credited for the work that they do. Robinson says that police officers “can’t make an honest mistake.”
Robinson believes that “average citizens hold them [police] to a high standard and that if you want to be a police officer you can’t make any mistakes in your life.”
Robinson believes that a major factor behind the discrimination towards police is the events that occur in the United States in which police are abusing their title.
“What is happening in the United States is not how all police officers act. People let that overshadow the greatness we bring to communities,” he says.
Police officers face stigma everyday on and off the job. One of the most popular places the police are targeted is over social media websites, especially Facebook.
Sheridan Beesley, a former Police Foundations student at Durham College, says she often sees individuals sharing, posting and writing posts and pictures that are offensive to police officers.
The stigma and discrimination towards police officers can leave aspiring police officers worried about how they will be viewed as police in the future.
However, Perry and Robinson believe that their dreams are worth any obstacles that may come with them.