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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Guest Opinion: For your consideration

It’s usually the same plot: a good-for-nothing rookie is paired with an experienced but reckless renegade to solve a seemingly impossible case to prove to the chief of police that they are, in fact, worthy of their badges. Throughout their case, a handful of screw-ups, a slew of ungentlemanly vocabulary and the jerk on the force trying to cause all kinds of trouble make for a great adventure that ends all too predictably. Along the way, we laugh at the excessive number of exaggerated police stereotypes (some cops like bagels instead, you know) and we celebrate when the perpetrator is caught. We hail the valiant efforts of the unlikely duo and quickly forget that a day in the life of a police officer is not nearly as glamorous as the comedy kings in Hollywood seem to portray it.

And let’s not forget about the Oscar-worthy triumphs that uplift spirits and momentarily become everybody’s favorite movies. Trigger-happy law enforcers who seem all too eager to silence criminals. Stone-faced men in blue all hardened by the wear and tear of serving justice in the streets whom have all lost their empathy. Not to mention our favorite hero in disguise, the darkest knight of all, putting all the policemen in Gotham City to shame. These movies, as with the knee-slappers, have given us but a bland taste of the reality every policeman and woman experience on the daily. Perhaps we’ve been Hollywood-washed to believe too much in these stereotypes and perhaps we all need a fresh perspective.

I admit I’ve immediately reduced my speed by 10 miles per hour if I see a police vehicle on the highway, even if I’ve barely reached the limit. And I’m most certainly guilty of silently dropping some F-bombs under my breath, again in the presence of a cop car. I have no doubt that a majority of our population feels similarly, but I must contend that our attitudes need serious adjustment.

In my recent personal experience, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the men and women of the UC Davis Police Department. I recall my internal monologue instructing me to shake hands firmly and make eye contact for an appropriate amount of time (these are the police for goodness sake!). But though I was incredibly nervous at first, I was humbled to be in the presence of the men and women who protect me every day. It might not cross our minds on the daily, but we are so fortunate to live with the security of knowing that help is only a phone call away. I am also indebted to the service of my fellow peers, the Aggie Hosts — students, like myself, who perform duties above and beyond because they are committed to the safety of their school. I am grateful to know for a fact how truly dedicated these men and women are, oftentimes sacrificing themselves for the overall good and protection of the community.

I believe we all need to be reminded that all police (and Aggie Host) share a common goal: to protect. This world may well be doomed to the same fate as crime-ridden Gotham City’s without the Batmen and Batwomen to keep watch. I would most certainly not feel safe without them.


Tiffany Lam
Fourth-year psychology major



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