THE COP WITH THE DEGREE | 2002-09-07
Two cops in a police car patrolled a wealthy neighborhood at 2 AM. They saw two young black guys driving along very slowly in an old car. Kowalski, who only had a high school diploma, said, "We better watch those guys."
Smith was Kowalski's partner. He had a college degree in sociology.
Smith smiled knowingly. "Those men are American citizens traveling at a legal speed on an American street. We don't want to be part of the problem. We don't want to harass men because of the color of their skin or the price of their car."
A call came in a few minutes later. A car had been seen speeding on a nearby highway. Kowalski, reflecting his mere high school background, wanted to go after that car.
Once again, the Cop With The Degree smiled knowingly. "The driver of that car was speeding a few minutes ago. That does not mean he is speeding now. You can't bring up past offenses in court, where everybody has an advanced degree. So why should you and I jump to conclusions here?"
About then they came upon an old lady driving an expensive Cadillac. The Cop With The Degree turned on the blue light. Kowalski was puzzled, so the Cop With the Degree explained, "Random check. All over town cops are stopping young black men like the ones we passed a little while ago. We're going to balance the equation."
On the bullhorn he said, "Step out of the car." It turned out that the car was not registered in the woman's name. Kowalski wanted to let the woman go, but The Cop With the Degree knew that they would have held the black guys until they found out what was going on. So in a couple of hours they chased down the woman's daughter and found the car did belong to her and let her go.
At the end of the day, Kowalski had failed to learn anything from his educated partner. His only comment was, "Either he's crazy or I am."
But things worked out well in the long run. Kowalski was a hard worker, so he managed to send his son to college. The younger Kowalski got a degree and was ashamed of his unenlightened father. He is now a police lieutenant who thinks just like Smith.
For some reason, the crime rate has gone out of sight in that town. Kowalski Junior will soon make captain and work directly under Police Commissioner Smith. Smith is a member of the Mayor's Emergency Task Force on Crime. The Mayor's Task Force on Crime has been formed to study the alarming increase in felonies.
The Task Force has provisionally decided that the solution to the problem of crime lies in education.