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Police Commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt

If you have spent any time on our site, you know that our very mission was inspired by the words of Theodore Roosevelt who challenged us over 100 years ago to stand with those who stand in the arena.

 

We want it known that we will always stand behind our law enforcement and that, while we do not adhere to a specific political doctrine or party, we believe that this nation's blue line deserves our respect and support.

On October 14, 1912 an assassination attempt was made on Presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt. After he had been shot in the chest by a would-be assassin, the indomitable Teddy Roosevelt waved off medical attention, mounted a podium and completed a scheduled 90-minute speech with a .38 caliber bullet lodged near his heart.

At the time of the assassination attempt, Roosevelt’s resume’ was already impressive. Before Theodore Roosevelt was the Bull Moose Party presidential candidate, he had already served as President of the United States. Before that he had been Vice President. Prior to that, he was a dynamic leader serving as a colonel in the Spanish American War, known for leading the now famous Rough Riders and Buffalo Soldiers on charges that took San Juan Heights. His actions eventually earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor (presented nearly 100 years after the battle).  Prior to the Spanish American War he had been Secretary of the Navy.

What you may not know is that before all that, Theodore Roosevelt was the Police Commissioner for the New York Police Department.

Roosevelt’s time as a police commissioner was marked by his efforts to modernize the department as well as to remove the tentacles of corrupting political influences.

 

Roosevelt’s most memorable quotes most definitely reveal that his history in law enforcement had changed his life and influenced his outlooks on many things.

Commissioner Roosevelt was also able to put the enforcement aspect of ethical policing into perspective like no other, when he concluded, “No man is above the law and no man is below the law” and again when he said, “Obedience of the law is demanded not asked as a favor.”

For officers who have in crisis been compelled to act — only to later find themselves under attack by a “Monday Morning Quarterback” for the actions they took under extreme duress — take solace in these words uttered by Roosevelt, “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

While we are not ignorant to the fact that some are not called to police communities and need to be removed, we believe that a majority of this blue line represents who Roosevelt spoke of when he said:   “No man is worth his salt, who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life in a great cause.”

 

To those of you that belong to that blue line, we thank you for your service and your sacrifices.

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