When the Lord was creating peace officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when and angel appeared and said, "Youíre doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this order? A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldnít touch, and not wrinkle his uniform.

He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stake out, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighbourhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day.

He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands? No way?!"

"Itís not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. "Itís the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."

"Thatís on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, 'May I see whatís in there, sir?' (when he already knows and wishes heíd taken that accounting job). Another pair here in the side of his head for his partnersí safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'Youíll be all right maíam', when he knows it isnít so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I canít," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheque."

The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly, "Can it think?" she asked.

"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop and still it keeps itís sense of humour.

This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victimís family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isnít sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the peace officer. "Thereís a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."

"Thatís not a leak," said the Lord, "itís a tear."

"Whatís the tear for?" asked the angel.

"Itís for bottled up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the flag, for justice."

"Youíre a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked sombre. "I didnít put it there," he said.

--Author Unknown

For my fellow comrades everywhere.

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