Learn The Expectations of a Police Officer from a Swearing-In Ceremony

police ceremony

Photo via: Hudson Reporter

Source: Ingenious Press

Libertarians, Activists, and Anarcho-Capitalists tend to be pretty well versed in the Constitution. They know how to appropriately deal with law enforcement figures in various scenarios, and act in a manner which guarantees them as many protections as possible without incriminating themselves. It is something they take pride in, even admittedly in a somewhat arrogant manner, despite the fact that we rarely (if ever) encounter the police in our own personal lives. After all, actively working at avoiding the police is part of the mission objective in the first place.

Unfortunately, our first lines of defense such as “Am I being detained?” or “I’m going to remain silent, and I want to talk with a lawyer” don’t do us a whole lot of good if we are killed on the spot for some bizarre technicality (like answering our front doors while holding a Wii remote).

Sometimes, getting out of a potentially sticky situation REALLY DOES just boil down to the character and moral standing of that one very officer, at that one very moment in time. Since serendipity can play cruel tricks on us and change our lives in an instant, it’s important for the public to be aware of how the officer is ‘supposed’ to behave and under what authority he or she serves.

That is, the public needs to be familiar with the standard protocol of a police officer being sworn into service.

The following video takes place in Dekalb county Georgia in 2010, as an experienced police officer from a different precinct is being sworn into service with his new department. For your information, Dekalb county is part of the metropolitan Atlanta area, and it’s a jurisdiction which has been the scene of several high-profile cases of police misconduct within the past year alone. Read, watch, and listen carefully. You may or may not also be saddened by how often police officers across the country break these oaths.

(I, Christopher R. Forman, do solemnly swear, to never betray by badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. That I will not be influenced in any manner, by account of personal bias or prejudice. I will always have the courage, to hold myself, and others, accountable for our actions.

I will support and defend, the Constitution of the United States, the laws of the state of Georgia, the ordinances of Dekalb county Georgia, and the city of Dunwoody, Georgia. My community and the agency I serve, that I bear true faith and allegiance, to the same.

And defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially, discharge the duties, of the office, of peace officer, according to the best of my ability. So help me God.)

The exact wording of such oaths will have considerable variance across the country depending upon the local jurisdiction. However, policing jurisdictions across ALL towns, counties, and states throughout the country mandate that their officers affirm to uphold the Constitution of the United States, first and foremost, as the supreme authority of the land.

In nearly all scenarios, it will be the first set of laws that the officer swears to uphold (Constitution = primary importance), followed by state laws (secondary importance), and then finally the local county and town ordinances (tertiary importance). A clause may also be in place reminding them they are a ‘Peace Officer’, not a tyrannical bully who kills mentally ill human beings because they “don’t have time for this” or other such preposterous rationale.

As stated earlier, these oaths show just how often police officers stray from their code of conduct and sense of professionalism towards their work. They count on the general public’s ignorance towards the Bill of Rights (or their own ignorance for that matter) to coerce the citizen in question into forfeiting their 4th and 5th amendment rights (search and seizure, self-incrimination), harass public photographers (1st amendment protected), harass open-carriers in a lawful setting (2nd amendment protected), or violently and repeatedly beat suspects who are posing no threat (cruel and unusual punishment, a severe violation of the 8th amendment).

At the time of this videos release in 2010, Officer Forman was a 12-year veteran of policing in the state of Georgia. For all I know, he is a respectable police officer who has never made a serious breach of this oath throughout his career.

To him, this meeting may be considered a mild annoyance or stumbling block, before he can recommence his police work while being assigned to a new jurisdiction within the same state. However, I for one think it is a wonderful idea that all officers repeat their oaths in a formal setting every couple of years (much like when you have to renew your drivers licence every four years or so).

It will help remind them that their highest calling is not hiding behind billboards to write speeding tickets, shoot at family pets who bark at them, or unload on teenagers in their own homes for answering the door with a Wii remote. Their calling is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, in addition to serving and protecting the public to the best of their ability, as all parties involved strive to flourish in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This article first appeared on the Red Pill and Libertarian affiliated blog Ingenious Press. Follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.