by Ski Ingram

A Veteran’s Thoughts

June 2023

I have a dear friend named Ron, who lives in California. Whenever I see him or talk to him on the phone he will say “I love cops.”  He then goes on to tell me that I was a great cop. I wish that more people had that attitude and belief in cops. Not that they think or believe I was so great, but that they appreciate cops for what they do as much as my friend Ron.

It’s sad that so many people have no idea how cops work. It’s rarely like what you see on TV or in the movies. For most of the general public the only interaction they have with a police officer is when they are stopped for a traffic violation, or they are the victim of a crime.

There is a little-known truth that 10% of the people in any given neighborhood commit 90% of the crime. Another sad fact is that of those 10% many of them will be victims one day and a suspect in a different crime the next. Why are crime stats soaring today? It’s because criminals are arrested and then let out of jail even before, as some have said, “the ink on the police report has had time to dry.” When criminals are put in jail, they are unable to commit more crimes. It’s that simple.

I served as a police officer in the fifth largest city in California. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and have worked on a variety of details in my 20 plus years on the job. These assignments include Patrol, Vice, and Narcotics. I also was in charge of over 60 Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Officers in the Department as well as being one of the few nationally recognized DRE Instructors in my Department. I tell you all this not to boast but to show you that I have a lot of training and experience in the field of Law Enforcement.

Most people do not have any idea what police officers do on a daily basis. The one thing they do more than anything else is risk their very lives for you. They do things that most people will never experience in their lifetime. They see people, including children, victimized over and over again because our courts are inadequate, our prosecutors are overworked, and our juries never learn the whole truth during a trial. Why do they do it? Most of them do it because they have a heightened sense of justice. They do it because they have a desire to protect those who can’t protect themselves. They do it because they know when bad guys are in jail, they are unable to hurt their family or yours.

I was dismayed a few years ago during the “war on cops.”  I would ask everyone who would discuss this with me “who will protect the innocent if we don’t have the police?”  The answer I most often received was “no one” or “I don’t know.”  Everyone who will use their eyes to see are beginning to realize that when the cops no longer will protect you, are restricted or unable to, you will have to protect yourself. We all saw how that worked out for the bodega worker in New York last year who was arrested for defending himself from an assault and, most recently, for Daniel Perry who was trying to protect others on a subway car from a homeless man making very scary threats to its passengers.

Ayn Rand from her novel, Atlas Shrugged wrote this, “If you are unsure who to trust in these confusing times: Trust the courageous one. Truth requires courage. Courage requires fortitude, truth requires integrity. Cowards tell lies, cowards support liars. Telling a lie is easy, believing a lie is easy, being compliant is easy, staying silent is easy. Trusting without thinking is easy. Thinking for yourself is hard, standing up for yourself is hard, being real and authentic is hard. In times like these it takes all the courage in the world to question the status quo and to speak up and tell the truth. Trust the courageous.” 

Police officers are the courageous. More than 800,000 police officers put their lives and well-being on the line every time they go to work. They make over 10 million arrests each year. They have more than 60 million interactions with the public each year and yet only 2% of those interactions require them to use force. Less than 1% of all police officers in the United States last year were charged with misconduct. To me that’s a pretty good record for all that police officers have to deal with.

Whenever someone would complain to me about the perceived mistreatment they received from a police officer, I would tell them this, “we have a problem, we have to get our police officers from the human race.”  Yes, some officers do not meet the standards most of us expect and some go bad after serving a number of years. But they are the exception rather than the rule. I believe that police officer training is the best way to prevent “bad cops.”  The problem is few police agencies can afford the money to train police officers adequately.

Each police officer will encounter between 400 and 600 traumatic events in his career. The average citizen will experience two or three in a lifetime. Maybe this is why police officer suicide is on the rise. The next time you see a police officer, smile and know that he has your safety and best interest in mind.

Ski Ingram is a life member of Lester Keate Post 90 of the American Legion in St. George, Utah. He now lives in Gilbert, Arizona. He is a combat veteran and is a life member of six different veteran’s organizations as well as the NRA. He can be reached at  Or