Paul Harvey’s “Policeman”

Listen to one of Paul Harvey’s best narrations, “Policeman” below.

Here is the text from Paul Harvey’s narration:

Policeman. A Policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity.

Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are “new”. What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace.

Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy!

What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back.

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.But…If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting;if not, he’s a grouch.

He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.

But…If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt.He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.

A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.

A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But…If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen-but refused to remember.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’d have to be genius….For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.

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5 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I come from a law enforcement family so this really hits home with me. My dad, step mother brother and several cousins have all been in law enforcement. My dad retired with 43 years of service to our community. I’m so proud of him, my other family members and friends who continue to serve.

Loretta Zsido
Loretta Zsido
5 years ago

I think we all forget exactly what the policeman does for us because he’s always there in the shadows observing, at the ready in case we need them.

We have got to put someone in charge of our country who will stand behind the American people and protect us.

Can we get a written copy of this?

Jerrie Easterly
Jerrie Easterly
5 years ago

I am looking for a written copy of Policeman. Do you have one or where I can find one.

bara Mood
bara Mood
5 years ago

I wish I could send this to Chief David Brown in Dallas
and Sheriff David Clarke in Wisconsin and thank you to
all officers everywhere..,

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