It's a rough time to be a Cop

"It is as difficult a time to be a police officer as I have seen in my 37 years in the business," said Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director of the Texas Municipal Police Association.

Lawrence says historically police have seen support from the silent majority.

"Over the last couple of years there's been a shift in that.  And I personally relate it back to the Ferguson case.  But I think there was probably a ground swell going on before that," he said.

Lawrence believes incorrect information about the shooting of Michael Brown brought tensions between police and the public to a boil.

"What happened was you had a version of events that was completely false that got wings and went worldwide before anybody started actually objectively looking at the facts," Lawrence said.

The video out of Philadelphia is shocking: 30-year-old ex con Edward Archer shoots officer Jessie Hartnett.  Archer is saying it was "in the name of Islam."

Hartnett chased the man and returned fire.  Archer was later apprehended by other officers.

"The bravery he demonstrated was absolutely remarkable.  His will to live undoubtedly saved his life and we are ever so grateful to God that he's here today because this could have easily been a police funeral," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

"You've got people that are mad at police officers and they don't even know why," Lawrence said.

Lawrence says the "war on cops" is just rhetoric right now -- because fewer officers were killed in the line of duty in 2015 than they were in 2014 nationwide.

But Lawrence fears the violence will get worse.

He says it's getting harder to recruit too.

"If your brother or your father or your son or your cousin came to you right now and said 'I'm thinking about getting into law enforcement,' what would your response to them be?" Lawrence said.

And he says law enforcement is losing the good people they do have.

"If we're not careful we're going to wind up where the only people that are willing to wear the badge anymore are exactly the kind of people we don't want wearing a badge," he said.

So...is it possible the situation can improve?  If so...how?

"We've got to start educating the public about what's really going on out there.  We can't just present the hype, we have to present the facts and I don't know what the answer is to that," Lawrence said.

Lawrence says he's not saying some officers don't do wrong things -- but he made the point that law enforcement does a heck of a job policing their own: They investigate, suspend, demote, terminate, indict and convict their own everyday...he said "show me another profession that does that."
 

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