By: Rick McCann
Private Officer News Network
So far this year more than one hundred and forty teachers across the country have been arrested on charges of prostitution, possession, and sale of drugs, being drunk in class, assaulting students and teachers and the alarming and growing number of arrests for having sex with students.
Firefighters, police officers, and doctors also have made national headlines at a steady pace this year charged with everything under the sun.
A firefighter in Kentucky in full uniform and on duty is caught shoplifting and arrested. An off duty Prattville Alabama police officer last week led police on a high speed pursuit and was arrested for having cocaine and other charges relating to the chase.
In Nashville Tennessee several weeks ago, two doctors are charged in a prescription drug scheme accused of selling their goods across the line in Kentucky in an operation police say was all about greed. Doctors selling their souls and their career for the almighty buck.
Another shoplifting arrest in the past month involved a Georgia police chief caught shoplifting a few items that were worth less than fifty dollars from a Wal-Mart store. While the store opted not to prosecute, he lost his job anyways and his name and his illegal deed now part of the police department’s history and the police chief’s life.
And in Brunswick Georgia, the School Superintendent was fired this week for having porn and questionable material on his Blackberry device.
While outsiders may look at these headlines as just humans messing up or just people out to make a dollar, to an insider who knows what it takes to obtain any professional level job, it’s a sad and almost unimaginable choice that so many make.
We all make mistakes and have weaknesses and I’m as guilty as the next but when a person has worked for years, gone through years of schooling and training and in some cases an entire lifetime to obtain a certain level within their profession and then to cross the line that brings them down, it’s hard to understand what they were thinking.
In the case of a police officer, firefighter, or other civil servant, the individual has gone through a long testing and selection process to be accepted into the academy. It’s not like Barney Fife where Sheriff Taylor hands him a badge and swears him all in thirty seconds and now he’s a deputy or police officer.
Numerous steps in the testing and selection takes months and the training academy can also take 3-6 months and if the person passes that he then goes through more training before being put on the job.
A teacher in most cases has at least sixteen years of education and has also gone through a testing and selection process to obtain their position and we all know the education and training that doctors and lawyers have to go through before they begin their careers.
Yet, for a few moments of pleasure or a little bit of extra cash or for the thrill of stealing and getting away with it, a career is damaged or destroyed, a life is scared, a reputation and trust is torn apart, people are hurt and the act is forever recorded in stone and in the minds of those you love the most and who you promised to protect and serve, and the oaths and ethics that all professionals swear to abide by is now meaningless and shredded by poor decisions, greedy hearts and thoughtless acts.
In this world, what we value most is shrinking as is the right between right and wrong. But careers in many professions are getting harder to obtain especially in this sour economy and we must begin to value our postions, our profession, our oath and yourself and understand that an adventure with a young teenager or a few petty items at the store or a fat bank account will not yield the rewards that a long honest career will.
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