Police officers have an incredibly hard job. Their very lives are on the line every single day. The danger is real, possibly lurking around any corner. With so many stories of excessive force, police abuses of power, corruption, coverups, racism, and brutality, it's hard to remember that good cops are out there doing good work every day.
Something is missing in the stories that fill the news — humanity. Gone are the days of the neighborhood cop walking his beat, chatting with shopkeepers, neighbors, and school kids. Our police are now equipped like a military force, which makes our towns the war zone and our citizens the enemy.
But the good cops are out there. We just don't usually hear about them.
Patrick Skinner, or @SkinnerPm on Twitter, describes himself as "making my way back from federal work & overseas counterterrorism to local community policing in my hometown" in his bio.
Had a guy on a park bench in a closed park. He had been laid off & simply didn’t want to go home & tell his wife. We talked for some time.— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509106547.0
Skinner shares his everyday encounters, usually simple and straightforward, and they paint a picture of what real community work looks like.
Patrolled 8 hours in a tough part of town & talked to tons of people. Not one of them a criminal. And I made sure they didn’t feel like one— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509106831.0
On October 28, Skinner shared a story through a series of Tweets.
Stopped a couple in a closed park last night. Nothing big, just can’t be there. Ran their tag & saw it was expired...— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509229175.0
Per procedure, Skinner ran the plates. The small infraction just got marginally larger.
The car registration was suspended cuz of a lapse in insurance coverage. If stopped driving, that a big deal.— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509229218.0
Rather than assuming this man was a criminal, potentially dangerous, and flagrantly breaking the law, Skinner let him know that driving would lead to problems.
So I see him walking back to the car and I stop him and literally say ‘don’t start the car. We’ve got to figure something out to avoid drama— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509229274.0
Skinner explains the problem.
I tell him what the computer is saying & that if he drives off he’s gonna get jammed up. I ask him about his insurance (which is important)— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509229343.0
A real community focused officer, Skinner goes the extra mile.
He says he switched it a week or so ago. Can’t find the paperwork. We call the company and get them to confirm it but also call the state.— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509229468.0
Keeping a calm head and taking a little time kept a minor situation minor.
Took maybe 15 minutes & saved that kid a tow, a ticket, or worse. Gun in my face is an emergency; everything else can be resolved slowly— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509229544.0
Skinner has over 9,000 Twitter followers who appreciate his style of community policing.
@SkinnerPm Cool. I have met a few other police officers who act the same. Too rare in this day and age. #Respect… https://t.co/Of6CiDTpIW— sensible shoes🌈🐕🐕🐕🐈🐈🐈🐎🌿😎👟 (@sensible shoes🌈🐕🐕🐕🐈🐈🐈🐎🌿😎👟)1509230720.0
Wouldn't it be great if there were more stories of everyday good cops doing everyday good police work?
@SkinnerPm Also could you & your fellow officers keep sharing stories? It's helpful to understand what you do. I only see when ppl screw up.— Lisa Wetzelberger (@Lisa Wetzelberger)1509231552.0
Doing the hard daily work of good community policing can be a thankless job.
@SkinnerPm Retired police officer here. Thanks for taking time to resolve rather than escalate. Too bad there's pro… https://t.co/YBAjplBPuT— Clairee Belcher 🍫🧀🌊🍌🤦♀️🩸🦷🦦 (@Clairee Belcher 🍫🧀🌊🍌🤦♀️🩸🦷🦦)1509297921.0
We are on the same side.
@CareQD I agree. The issue is the tiny fraction of bad Police can cause generational damage. We need to fix that. B… https://t.co/vEAD6eAZm4— Patrick Skinner (@Patrick Skinner)1509233860.0