Being a Police Officer, Being a Catholic

I’m studying to be a police officer, I still have a long way to go. A question that was asked of me yesterday by a fellow catholic was about protecting protesters. As guaranteed in our constitution, we as Americans have a right to peaceful protest. Many protests are given protection by uniforms police officers to ensure the safety of the protesters. The question that was asked of me was, if I have to defend somebody protesting a cause which the Church does not recognize/support, or perhaps even the Church herself, would that be “supporting” that cause. I honestly didn’t know how to answer that question, and it had never crossed my mind until I was asked. I just said, I would make sure nothing gets out of hand, because ensuring safety is my only job. How would you have answered that question?

Your job is to defend. You can’t pick and choose who. If they are not breaking any laws, they have the right to that protection.

IMHO :smiley:

Your presence at a protest is to ensure the safety of everyone in that area and to help maintain the peace. Protesters are not the only ones who need protection. Often times it is the bystanders who need protection from the protesters. You would not be supporting the protest, you would be doing your duty as a police officer.

Pending manpower, you can always ask a superior if you can switch a duty, I would suppose.

I like what someone said where you are there for both sides, since there will be people around not a part of the protest that will be happy to see protection as well.

You are not supporting that which they protest for or against. You are supporting their right to do so.

if you were a firefighter and people are trapped in a burning building, even an abortion center, you don’t get to choose who to save or whether the building should burn.

If you are a nurse or doctor and a terrorist is rushed to a hospital (as recently happened in Boston) you don’t get to choose not to treat the person.

As others said, the job of the police is to “protect and to serve”. If they are not breaking the law, that is your job – protect and serve.

romancatholic94, you answered well. I would have said, “No,” then added what you wrote. As a police officer you will be called upon to protect all kinds of people with all kinds of beliefs and views. The public knows you don’t endorse every cause whose members you protect.

On a side note, you might want to google Jesse Romero. He is a former cop from L.A. who is now an apologist / evangelist. He is awesome – Jesse spoke at the North Texas Catholic Men’s Conference this year and knocked off our proverbial socks.

This is just one of many reasons why there is separation between Church and state…
There will be times you will Question many things, but you must look at the bigger picture.
To serve and protect, its a tough job, hope your up to it, good luck

Everyone is entitled to protection, even those whose causes you disagree with. By protecting such people, you are not joining in their protest, you are simply ensuring their safety. There is no conflict.

Afterall they are you brothers and sisters who you are called to love unconditionally. We are not called to love those we agree with above those who we do not agree with.

This is a great point. As a lawyer, I occasionally represent criminal defendants. The state’s accusations do not reflect on or conflict with my faith.

Private persons are not authorized to prohibit sinful speech, even if the speech is of such nature that the state ought to prohibit it, therefore you would not sin by protecting immoral protestors from attacks, the only case where such a conflict could come into play would be if the attacker was engaging in justified defense against a murder.

To protect and to serve.

As Law Enforcement Officers we are called to protect life and to provide safety and order. Duty should always precede personal preferences. Of course, if you can manage to perform your duties in a Christian manner… all the better!:slight_smile:

God Bless you and protect you. And St. Michael the Archangel watch over you.

either do the job by the book or don’t take a public paycheck.

whatever you do, don’t have an attack of scruples on the job. don’t endanger other the public or your fellow officers because your conscience acts up.


Spot on…

Hopefully, your hiring department will put you through a fairly in depth psychological evaluation that will tell them (and you) whether you’d be an asset to their department or a danger to your fellow officers. Then, your usually on probation for the first year and can be dismissed for almost any reason. Refusing to protect and serve even someone you’ve arrested can be grounds for one is considered innocent until proven guilty. It’s a tough job and you will harden with time spent doing it. Make sure you know what your getting into. Have you done any ride-alongs yet?
Best of luck.

Your Job involves protecting the safety of our brothers and sisters and as another poster said, you aren’t just protecting the protestors but also the ones they are protesting against.

I have taken quotes from numerous other’s, because it is very important, that while your job description tells you to “protect and serve” you must remember who you must serve before the law and that is God. Don’t compromise the services of God for the service of people (the law) required in your job.

The Laws are man made and can often be wrong, so don’t blindly serve the law. Always serve God, if you can serve both, that’s great, but God trumps the other and on the day of judgement you cannot stand behind you badge.

How about Abortion, should he support the woman’s right to choose?

The question is to “serve” who? the law? God’s laws always trump man’s laws. It would be difficult being a police officer, because it’s important to keep in mind that we are called to serve God above man.

We are called to serve God, not man, if we can do both than that is a bonus, but God’s laws trump man’s laws.

No. Always have an attack of scruples on the Job. We are called to serve God, on the day of judgement you will not have a badge to stand behind.

So always question the morality, don’t be so blind to obey every foolish order of man. That is how evil thrives. During World War II in Nazi Germany, do you think they could stand behind “I was just following orders” for the genocide of millions?

Remember that God’s laws trump man’s laws.

God’s laws trump man’s laws.

It was unlawful to shelter Jews in Nazi Germany during world war II, This is an example of a Law that must be broken in order to serve God’s laws.

romancatholic94, God’s laws and Man’s laws will clash, just remember which one trumps, try and serve them both, but if they are in conflict, remember that God’s laws trump man’s.

I am surprised at the number of comments that told you to serve the law without question. It is in military professions where they teach you to disregard morality and reject God’s laws, where they teach you to just “follow orders” without question and ignore conscience. You should never ignore conscience no matter what you are told, no matter how much it is “required” for you to do so in your job description, you can’t stand behind your job and what was “required” of that job on the day of judgement.

God Bless

Thank you for reading

Scruples in the sense I think used here – refers to “unreasonable” concerns …to seeing sin where it is not.

It is not a question of following the higher law of God…

For example it would be a scruple if say a police officer thought he would sin if he kept a person from killing a drug dealer…(where as in reality he is to protect life…even the life of one who is a dealer).

Hi, Josh,
Just a point of clarification here. The military does NOT teach you to “disregard morality and reject God’s laws”…at least, not in the U.S. military. Soldiers are allowed to disobey an “unlawful order” - an unlawful order is one that violates the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, the Geneva Convention, or civilian law, among other things. For example, an order to kill unarmed civilians may be opposed by any soldier, regardless of whom gives it. They do not follow orders while “ignoring conscience.” In fact, we have prosecuted several soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who failed to disobey unlawful orders.

Please do not disparage all military members with such accusations. There are 1.8 million Catholics in the U.S. military alone and to say that they disregard morality and reject God’s laws is untrue.

And if a police officer feels that he cannot, in all conscience, serve both, then ought to immediately resign from the police service.

No. But he is obliged to protect the safety of women who have abortions.

Again, if a police officer feels that what he is expected to do as a police officer is contrary to God’s law then he ought to resign and cease to be a police officer.

To have remained within an organisation that carried out such acts would in itself be wrong, as by remaining within that organisation you are giving support to the actions carried out by them.

Which is why we ought to carefully consider what occupations we have in life. What we do in our lives ought to be part of the mission God has called each of us to do. To be in an occupation that requires one to act against God’s law is to not be in an occupation that fulfills God’s mission for us on Earth. In that case you should change your occupation if you can.

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