Police Officers Are Underpaid Essay

1060 words - 5 pages

It was 1992 and his whole life was ahead of him. He was young, married and anticipating the arrival of his first child. As a dispatcher, he was looking forward to his twenty-first birthday so he could be a police officer. “He wanted to be a cop, and that is the only thing he wanted to do,” says Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor (Buie). He was well-trained and graduated at the top of his class from the South Carolina Police Academy. He knew the rules, rehearsed them over and over, and lived by them every day. Christopher Lee Taylor was an Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputy whose life was cut short by the squeeze of a trigger. He was unappreciated by the criminals and underpaid by the county. He gave his life for less than $17,000 a year. Chris’ story is not unfamiliar in law enforcement. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the innocent and the guilty only to be paid a minimal yearly salary.
There are many misconceptions about the duties of law enforcement officers and their daily responsibilities. There are those who argue that police officers have it made, riding around in a car for most of their shift, stopping occasionally for coffee and doughnuts. They have the idea that the higher-ranked officers sit in a comfortable office, make a whopping salary every year, and deal with matters on the telephone, instead of being out on the streets. Perhaps television has given that idea to those who think, but it is just another false impression. It is also common to hear conversations of how wildlife officers have it made. They have their own truck, boat, and four-wheeler. What people may not know is that most wildlife officers work alone and are called during the night. Most of the time when that call comes in it is to track a hunter, hunting his prey at night with a gun. The officers cannot feel calm or remotely comfortable about walking into a situation such as that. They are also taken away from their families for days at a time to go to disaster-struck areas like New Orleans and Mississippi.
There is no amount of training that can prepare an officer for what awaits him/her daily. “Chris was a good cop. He loved his job, but he loved his family too. He worked hard” (Taylor). During a personal interview at the time of the murder, the fallen officer’s father, Ray Taylor stated, “He was even sent to the police academy, before he was sworn in, to be trained as a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer” (Taylor). “They love sports, spending time with each other and their families, and eating out at their favorite restaurants; however, they are always on guard in the environment that surrounds them” (Taylor). “When they get in and out of their car each day, they do not know what lies ahead for them” (Taylor). When Christopher Lee Taylor was killed in the line of duty in December of 1992, he was making a routine traffic stop to inform the truck driver that...

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