So Friday afternoon I was driving to work and stopped at a local Wawa. (It’s a mini market popular on the east coast.) I walk toward the door and see a family approaching. It’s a mom, young daughter and even younger son. They’re white, seem nice enough, and the kids are wearing Catholic school uniforms. I’m wearing my work pullover, which has the detective badge and my division sewn on.
Being a nice guy, I open the door and hold it for the trio. The young daughter smiles at me, but the boy stops dead in his tracks. I see the boy turn to the mother and say something, but I cannot make it out. The daughter then informs me and the few other people in the area.
“Mom, he said he’s scared of police officers.”
The boy looks at me and the color goes out of his face. He refuses to move as long as I am standing there. The daughter again says, “He’s scared of police officers.” My first instinct was to ask the mother, “I wonder where he got that idea?” but I let it go.
I also let the door go, and walked into the store, shaking my head.
This is the sort of garbage I have to deal with on a weekly basis. I expect it in the ‘hood, but not a mile or so from my house. This kid was – probably – indoctrinated by his parents to be afraid of the police. That’s all well and good, but what happens when the boy is caught up in a real emergency? Where does he go for help?
I’ve been saying it for a while, and I think Mrs. Earp believes I’m not serious, but I am. I plan to retire in ten years, and I’m leaving not just this city, but this state. I will not be forced to live the rest of my days surrounded by people who despise me. You only get on chance in life, and I am not spending my entire life in Philadelphia.
I’m not doing it.