On this episode of the Watchdog Podcast, hosts Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle take a look at the recent tragedy in Dallas and ask if attitudes toward police are changing across America.
One sign that they are: Police departments say they are having a difficult time recruiting.
Following 9/11, there was a shift in how Americans viewed police and other first responders, but that era of good feelings seems to be changing as the national view of law enforcement has shifted again in the wake of events in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, and more recently the shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and Minneapolis.
As Kittle reported this week, the number of police applicants is down more than 90 percent in some cities.
“You can get shot at for $40,000, or be home with your family for $60,000,” Seattle police recruiter Jim Ritter recently told ABC News.
The extent to which police have been militarized over the past decade certainly hasn’t helped the relationship between Americans and law enforcement. If police are having a hard time recruiting, part of the problem could be that in some corners they are no longer viewed as part of the community but rather as a branch of the military.
In the end, while police should be held accountable when they cross the line, the vast majority of cops who do good work deserve their place of honor in the community.