How COVID created a moral dilemma for me as a police officer.
As a police officer I think that it is very important for everyone to understand their rights. When COVID first struck my little city brass began issuing new policies. As COVID continued to spread and get worse in the country states began to issue “State of Emergency” which opens up a whole new book of special laws and abilities for the government to use. Shortly after the issuance of a “stay at home” order was issued. I will get into how COVID created a moral dilemma for me as a police officer.
Who am I?
After all of these new policies and laws were placed, other officers and myself began hearing how we would be required to enforce the 10 person rule. I have to continuously the question of who am I to tell a local business that they are in violation of a governors order and they need to remove people from their business. For example, I was dispatched to a gym at approx 2200 hrs for a complaint of there being more than 10 people inside of this building. I arrived on scene and began to see the slew of vehicles in there parking lot. I walked inside and was confronted with an upset owner. He told me that he believed that a gym was an essential facility and that being active and healthy could reduce your possibility to contract COVID.
I explained to the owner that I understood and handed him a paper with the governor’s order on it. I told him that I do believe that it is a violation of his rights to be shut down by the government and that I did my job by informing him that if his actions continued he would ultimately be charged and fined, but not by me. As another small detail I would also like to say that this gym also has a majority first responder membership. As the week continued police responded there two to three more times, with the last response ending in a fine.
How is this a dilemma for me? I believe in standing up for people’s rights, and educating people on what exactly their rights are. In my opinion telling people and businesses that they are not allowed to continue their day to day because the government says so is a violation of their rights. On the other hand, the whole saying of “I didn’t write the law, I may not even agree with the law, but I will enforce it” kind of thing also begins to emerge. It is a difficult time for everyone folks, this is how COVID created a moral dilemma for me as a police officer.
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