ACAB or not?


The force, institution of public trust or corrupted armed group under politicians’ control?

Coppers, dogs, donut squad, cunt stubble, fizlove – called many names, often insulted: the Police.


I always wondered about the duality of policeman’s image. Kids idealize them, look up to the righteous knights of modern times that defend people. Often they even want to become them in the distant future to represent the values for which they stand for. Once kids grow up, police instead of being their allies become enemies that they fear of, despise or simply avoid. The respect is gone. Having a policeman in my family, I went through the same process. It happens quite often that we doubt who defends who and what they stand for. Yet dubious is the image of an average policeman, few share the same opinion for inspectors.

Nor Inspector Gadget, neither Sherlock Holmes but an inspector indeed tells a story. Opportunities pass by our life and it is only up to us if we catch them. Ivan did, he had a chance to study at the prestigious university in Turkey, he took it and joined the force. His boyhood dream was to become a lawyer, he started studies but soon he changed the suitcase for the uniform, still standing by the law.

Instead of broad knowledge of the law you focus on parts of your job and learn how to use them in your work. Life-wise, the academy is to get physical and mental skills. In a place like that you have a lot of psychological pressure, the beginning is very tough. It comes to the point you think you will crash and you will blow up. When you finish the regime like that, you feel the sense of pride and achievement. This is not an idealistic standpoint, you feel like you matured. The same as whiskey first matures in the wooden barrel, that is how you mature in the environment of strict principles. When you come back home you feel more calculated and grounded. Even though you see the pressure of real life you think it is nothing, you are much calmer after you pass the academy. You feel more mature, not so easily triggered, minor things do not matter. When you hit a wall of bad things you are more composed and you can deal with stuff in a better manner.

Set of skills… it’s four years of education. I would like to say it in two sentences but it is not possible. A good inspector should be composed, calm and observant. You cannot be easily surprised, you should see ahead, pay attention and not expect, otherwise you lose your sensitivity. By being persistent the inconsistency comes up, the statement changes and you have your guy. I was never proud that I put someone to jail. When you work on a case, to gather evidence and to see the possibilities that’s the most rewarding. When you see the camera that no one else noticed and then you take the footage and it is shitty that is funny. When you see the fingerprints and they are beautiful and greasy and you are like: damn this is good. Stuff like these, when you see things that cannot be foundeasily, are rewarding. You put so much effort to pay attention to details and when you see the results of a long work you are satisfied, you did something good for people. We actually work for people not against criminals but it goes together. Values and this job are intertwined. Your job is to bring value to the people and to lock up people that crushed value of others, you cannot separate that.

I don’t hate the people I work with, I’m not against them, I have never seen someone disliking the way I speak with him/her. People who have negative image of police don’t have a clue, they are influenced by media, they live in a bubble. Protesters see policemen protecting the buildings of the state and they interpret that as being against them. This seems immature and incorrect. Most of the people who hate the police were not even involved anyhow they only heard something from someone they know. Before I was in the police I had some encounters with the force and I never understood people who fear them. Even though they did nothing wrong, they saw policemen as brutal. We are normal people, we work as a team, others are always there to help you.

Depending on the mood you change from bad cop to good cop, you cannot be always the same. I’m the bad one.

Aleksandra Grzyb



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