Jason E. Fort
I have written a blog on protecting and serving before, and how I have felt called to do just that as a profession. However, I want to look at things at a slightly different angle; I want to take a look at it from the perspective of a sheep dog. Both military and law enforcement have been entrusted with protecting the innocent - the sheep, if you will - from the wolves...the evil people in this world. Now, these sheep...they don't like the way the wolves look. They don't like seeing a wolf prey upon one of their fellow sheep. As a matter of fact, they can even bare some of their own fangs sometimes - but only for a moment. Most of the time when this big bad wolf is harming a sheep, and a sheep dog is at the sheep's disposal, then they have no problem when the sheep dog comes to the rescue. But there are a couple of things that the sheep and sheep dogs must realize about each other. First of all, sometimes, a sheep dog can't just bare its teeth and growl and scare the wolf away. Sometimes, the sheep dog has to go all in, actually fight the wolves...and that fight can be messy (you know, shootings, people resisting arrest, tasing, use of force caught on video, etc.). So it may even disturb the sheep when the fight gets messy; this messy fight may get the sheep to look at us sheep dogs with caution, concern, and even fear. Sometimes, the sheep just don't realize what was necessary for the fight. Second, the sheep need to realize that sometimes, sheep become wolves themselves...or were wolves all along. The very people that seemed okay to trust detect a moment of weakness or vulnerability in a fellow sheep, and they throw off the sheep skin and prey upon that sheep. Enter the sheep dog, to help the victim sheep. But lo and behold, but who ends up being seen as the enemy? Why, the sheep dog, of course...because no sheep would ever want to admit to being fooled by their fellow sheep, when all along that person was really a wolf. And third, since the best thing to fight the wolves with big sharp teeth is another set of big sharp teeth, sometimes the sheep dogs can be just as scary as the wolves. Some sheep dogs might not even mean to come across that way to the sheep, but they just can't help it. Then there are those sheep dogs who become rabid; infected by the same evil hunger that effects the wolves, and the sheep that go bad. I was thinking about this today, as once again, I saw all the media bashing of law enforcement, and all the people out there with common sense that still see the need for the 'sheep dogs'. And it occurred to me that I don't need to get too offended - or surprised even - by the people out there who are afraid of cops...afraid of the sheep dogs. Although I intend to be nothing but protective in my job when I am in uniform, it is still easy to tell that some sheep, no matter how evil the wolves get, will never want to trust the sheep dogs, with their big pointy teeth, sitting right there on their hip.