In the depths of winter, one scans often through the many channels on TV, especially if one got a new remote for his birthday, hoping for something new. And I found it: “The Police Women of Somewhere.”
The Somewheres are Memphis and Miami and Dallas and Phoenix. I don’t watch the Phoenix police women any more. Either because they take their cues from Sheriff Joe Arpaio—the guy who said “I think it’s an honor to be called KKK”--or because they feel that when they are on TV they have to please him, they are not nearly as good at their job, and not nearly as interesting as human beings as the police women from the other cities.
The police women of those other cities are tremendously interesting both as police officers and as human beings, because they take their oath “to serve and to protect” quite seriously. They know their first duty is to protect the good guys against the bad guys, but they also want to serve and protect the bad guys from their own worst instincts, help them to switch to the other side.
I have never known a woman police officer. I have known campus police officers and town police officers and sheriff’s deputies and state troopers, in four different states, some of them quite well, because they were members of my churches, but they were all men. So it’s interesting to see the way women do the same job.
I have gotten to see women in almost all professions, including my own, go from being marginal or non-existent to being full colleagues, most of the time. I regret that I have gotten to see it, because it should have happened much sooner. But I also appreciate it, because it has been fascinating to watch women take on full citizenship.
I know part of this is because I am the father and grandfather of women. I want them free to do and be whatever God calls them to do and be. But I want this for my grandson, too, to live in a society where all people, regardless of gender, are free to follow where God leads them.
I don’t think I’ll ever see my daughters or granddaughter on a “Police Women of Somewhere” TV show, though. My younger daughter, Katie Kennedy, the famous YA author , recently went through the Citizen’s Police Academy in her town. When they did the simulation of stopping a suspect motorist—played by a male cop—he ran away from her. So she shouted, “Come back here. I’m too old and fat to chase you.” I don’t think they’d want to show that on “Police Women of Iowa.”
John Robert McFarland
1] Learning to Swear in America and What Goes Up, published by Bloomsbury, that also publishes lesser writers, like JK Rowling.
No, this isn’t writing. It’s more like journaling. If you write, you need to take the reader into account, write something worth reading. In journaling, you just say whatever you want. But I don’t have any place else to put my mental meanderings, so I have to put them where I used to put my writing.