In the days of the Normal Rockwell painting, it seemed that most cops were proactively looking for small opportunities to help. Many of today's patrol officers are encapsulated in the cocoon of their patrol car. They emerge only to make negative statements or take enforcement action. Even when given the opportunity to interact with John Q. Public, they act as though civilians are a distraction rather than the real reason we have jobs. I know those officers represent a very small minority of our total brother in uniform, but even a small minority can hurt the overall image.
I encourage everyone (including me, sometimes) to take the risk of extending yourself in a random act of kindness. The sweetness of the wins is much greater than the bitterness of an occasional rejection. A cop of olden times worked hard to be part of the lives of the people he served. He walked a beat. He knew the names of the folks who lived there. He threw a ball with the kids and was their as a mentor, counselor and disciplinarian as the situation required. Even when a kid got his butt kicked, he knew that it was because that cop cared.
We want folks to care about us - and they should. We, in turn, must earn their respect and their caring one person at a time. Can we do better? I suspect that some can and it may just payoff in fewer attacks and losses of our brothers and sisters.
After all, it all comes down to saving just ONE life.