Yes, I admit it: I’m on Facebook a lot. Since I work in front of my computer (for too many hours each day), it’s easy enough to have a bunch of windows open and Facebook is commonly one of them. And on Facebook, as expected, I follow a lot of police / law enforcement related pages. One of them is the Texas Blue Line Network; as in the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. I saw the pictured post in my feeds one day and it struck me as odd, and then humorous and then accurate.
It struck me as odd because I had never heard officers who work day work (or evening shifts) “day walkers.” It struck me as humorous because I have a couple friends who far prefer working midnights and jokingly refer to themselves as “vampires.” It struck me as accurate due to the parallels that exist in the reference. What do I mean? To answer that I have to discuss the BLADE movies just a bit.
For those of you not familiar, Wesley Snipes has starred in three movies playing the character of Blade; a vampire born to a human mother who had recently been turned. Due to the unique circumstance of his birth, he was born with all of the vampires’ strengths and their thirst for blood, but he didn’t inherit their aversion to sunlight. As a result, he was nicknamed the “day walker.” As he grew up and teamed with a guy named Whistler, he began to fight the “regular” vampires who preyed on humans. He became the vampire every other vampire worried about at the least, feared at the most.
It occurred to me that we law enforcement officers are kind of like that. We are all human. Criminals would be the “evil” vampires. We officers would be the day walkers – even if we work at night. Why do I compare us to vampires? Because we are capable of preying upon others; we just choose not to. But trust me, it takes people with that capability to fight against those who DO choose to prey on others.
Just like LtCol. Dave Grossman’s reference to us as Sheepdogs, so we can also be nicknamed day walkers – and a new generation of cops might find it appealing. I don’t know. Those humans out there Grossman would call sheep; those who don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them and have no skill or will to fight back against the wolves (criminals) when they come around for an easy meal, they are still the same unaware, easily victimized humans in my analogy.
Grossman’s wolves would be the evil vampires in my analogy. They knowingly and willfully prey on the sheep / humans, viewing them as trivial; nothing more than a food source; too insignificant for their feelings or wellbeing to even be considered.
Grossman’s sheepdogs – those dogs that COULD prey on the sheep but protect them against the wolves instead – would be the day walkers in my analogy. Those of us who COULD prey on others because we are capable of violence, but we choose to use our ability to fight only when necessary in defense of those we are sworn to protect.
In a different blog entry I think I’ll discuss those characteristics that make us similar to the wolves / vampires and those that set us apart; the parts that make us sheepdogs / day walkers. The similarities are scary but necessary. The differences are what makes us truly unique because very few other people in the world (compared to world population) hold those characteristics as part of their personality. It’s those special and unique personality traits that bond us; that bring us together as a family; that drive us to sacrifice in ways others aren’t capable of but that we take in stride as part of our day to day life.
Day to day in the life of a day walker…