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Un Magazine 5.1

I think I’ll join the Police

Nat Thomas

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14/24

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The Victorian Police Force is actively recruiting. They have stuck new bumper stickers on divvy vans to reach the very best recruits imaginable. If you can pass the written exam and the physical exam, they train you and you fight crime ASAP. You also receive a Special Occasions Uniform with shiny brass buttons and a shooty gun. For daywear, the outfit is more casual, but still smart and potentially lethal. The Uniform is very important and makes you feel part of a team.

Teamwork is very important in the perpetual War on Crime. Law Breakers are in teams too and everyone wears sunglasses to mask their gaze. Whoever’s team collaborates the best together wins. Sometimes it’s a draw, but the game always continues, so Police People can always get work, as can an ambitious Law Breaker. A lot of former Police People go on to work in security. They are employed to secure a lot of different things. People, places, things. Its a huge growth area. As most people have less and less, the few with too much of everything must pay to feel secure.

The Police Force will teach you to stay focused, yet lateral. Law Breakers don’t always have yellowing teeth, ink and a hoodie, so don’t make quick character judgements based on appearances alone. Don’t be judgemental about criminals. There are square criminals too. They wear suits and concentrate their criminal attentions on tax evasions, frauds, embezzlement, computer crime, sexual harassment and dangerous breaches of safety regulations to increase company profits. They are often called ‘white-collar criminals’ and are much more difficult to spot because they are sneakier than your average perpetrator.

The Force will also teach you how to tell if someone is lying to you, and how to direct traffic when power goes out. Subtle facial tics tell you somebody’s fibbing and big confident hand gestures will move cars along. Fluorescent vests are also provided for trainees, to boost Police profile and help drivers avoid running members over — that would be one costly infringement notice.

Women should make up more of the Police Force, because they are good carers, love makeovers and racy banter. The Victorian Police Force needs more female officers to go up the ranks quickly. An equal mix of male/female promotion within Police ranks should ensure better balance of the good cop/bad cop ratio. Good cop is gentle, rational and wanting a result that benefits everybody. Everyone also knows that women who are packing a gun are as hot as hell. It’s common teenage knowledge. Women can’t run as fast as men, but luckily Police People don’t run that often. They ride bikes now.

Whilst there are no more Law Breakers today than there ever were, it feels (especially to those old people who still believe constant pay TV news provides unbiased reporting on real events) that almost everyone is out to get them. So we really need a lot more Police People to be visible and make people feel the safest they are able to feel. You will feel good seeing Police People around, unless you have a problem with people in positions of authority who have guns, or something to hide — like recreational drugs for personal use. Or unpaid parking fines: even if you cannot afford to pay them, you must.

As a new Police Recruit, you get a badge in its own leather fold out folder. You can use this to get into concerts and other places with a queue. The notebook and pencil, for details you may forget, also comes in a leather fold out folder, which must cost a fair bit when you consider how many folders the Police Leaders would need to order. Hopefully they get a bulk buy discount, or maybe sponsorship, to cut costs. From Officeworks. That would be good promotion for them, because people who see the little book are usually having an adrenalin rush and you remember every little detail of a logo then.

When you become a Police Officer, you get to go to a lot of Police Parties. Police Parties are really good because Police People know who has all the best party supplies. Their Parties really go off. The poor Police People who are working on Party night drop by later and drive everyone home so you don’t even need to pay for a cab home. Not that you would! With the help of loud sirens, other cars on the road jump right out of the way of Police People cars, so it’s always really fast getting home. You can just drive straight through Breathalyser Stations with a siren on.

It’s good that the more liberal-minded a government, the greater the freedom it gives its citizens to disagree with the powers that be. They have a Suggestions Box at each Station Headquarters. I think this says a lot about the openness of the Australian workplace. It asks you for any hints on how to make the whole day work out better for everyone. I once suggested ‘smiley face’ stickers for when a criminal on your beat (who is usually an asshole) was being good. Everyone needs positive reinforcement. Also, if you were allocated to supervise a demo at work one day, and you agreed with what the Environmentalists were saying, then maybe you could invite the Leaders back to the Station for a cup of tea. Demonstrators often get dehydrated standing up chanting for what they believe in for hours in the hot sun. They may even be able to suggest some recycling and power-saving tips for the Police Station. I suspect there is a lot of waste in the Police Force that could be better administrated. And it’s always good to have a cuppa and a chat with someone new, fostering new dialogue and that. Little things like ‘turn your computer and kettle off at the wall’ really mean a lot right now. That way, the Police People wouldn’t have to block off so many roads going to fire, flood or cyclone areas. That’s a boring job, but people get really agitated when you tell them they can’t go home.