Every time I see one of those newish Boston Police cruisers, I am overwhelmed with the same thought; I wish the money had been invested in training.

Not military training, but training in dealing with civilians. I know this is a hard sell because this type of training isn’t as exciting or seductive as new cars and weapons.

Think back to the photos of the Ferguson Police Department and its military arsenal of tanks, guns and tear gas. Ferguson’s finest had benefited from a Homeland Security “oversight.”

I wanted to cry. I remembered the photos of the KKK standing together with the local police while fire fighters with the high power/super strength fire hoses worked diligently to wash the Civil Rights demonstrators off the streets.

Every time I see those newish Police cruisers rushing up and down the neighborhood streets, I am overwhelmed with the same thought; I wish the money would have been invested in training. Training for those police officers who know how to subdue an individual or crowd with force, but aren’t good in those “one on one” encounters with civilians, especially when the civilians are black males.

Darren Wilson tried to compare his fateful encounter with Michael Brown, with the story of David and Goliath. In Wilson’s story he played David, and his gun was replaced by a sling shot. David‘s training prepared him to subdue Goliath with one shot. According to local news stories, today’s white police officers need to shoot a black man multiple times. It appears one bullet isn’t enough. Perhaps the extra bullets are part of some hideous ritual to destroy the soul too.

Every time I see one of the newish police cruisers, I am overwhelmed with the same thought; I wish the money would have been invested in training.

One evening, I arrived to the local precinct for a meeting. I was unsure of the meeting location. I made a bad decision; I decided to ask the officer at the front desk about the meeting. He answered my question with a question: “How am I supposed to know?” The next person to arrive at the meeting was a white guy with long salt and pepper hair worn in a ponytail. He had a very similar experience with the same officer.

In some crazy way, it was comforting to know the officer’s hostility was not racially or gender based. He just had problems with civilians in general.

In my perfect world, that officer would be grounded indefinitely! No more driving the newish Police cruiser. His time and our tax dollars would be invested in training!


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column appears regularly in Oddball Magazine.