Those of us in the private sector have learned to adapt by producing more. Again, how does this translate for those whose job it is to serve and protect? Will producing more create a public backlash? Sure, writing more tickets produces a measurable amount of activity but when does it become unproductive in the sense of public opinion? Will you end up alienating the public voter because they feel harassed? Or continue the public opinion that you have nothing better to do? It is going to be a delicate balance of educating the public about who you are and the job you perform without making your presence resented.
There is another challenge you face as you present your justification for continued staffing as peace officers. The private sector often does not have the same protection as union employees, of which many of you in public safety are. Those of us in the private sector often do not understand where you are coming from when you talk about labor rights and protection. Instead of coming across as a sound argument it comes across as entitlement or ignorance of how the real world operates. Unions came into existence to protect employees from the unfair & unjust practices of management and that remains one of their essential roles today. The people who can either save or eliminate your jobs most likely are not protected by a union. Be aware of how your justifications come across to those in the private sector for their way of approaching their jobs is completely different than union employees. If you are part of a union or collective bargaining unit, take care to educate the public about its importance and role, and how it benefits you and the community. It needs to translate or it will alienate.
One last item I want to encourage you to do, is to not let the current political and economic environment have a negative effect on how you approach your job each day. When people work in what they perceive to be a negative environment, often a decrease in productivity follows. Be intentional about being in control of your mood and that others perceive you as productive and that you want to be with your agency. If the civilian world perceives you as not wanting to be at your job, they may begin to think they do not need you. Be careful about how you present yourself to the public and to your fellow officers. And because being a police officer is not just what you do, it is who you are, remember any proposed changes are not personal; it is business people implementing approaches that are logical in the civilian world. I know they do not translate to peace officers, but Joe Public has no real idea what you do. It is your job, your mandate, to educate him in a manner he understands.