Apparently “Law Enforcement” Needs a Stricter Definition

I was standing in line at a gas station today. As I stepped to register to pay for a delicious and moderately priced beverage, a man walked up beside me. This is never what I want to happen. It means that the person next to me is about to distract the cashier from the pressing matter of allowing me to hand her money.

“Excuse me,” he said. “Does law enforcement get free drinks?”

He stood there in a crisp gray uniform. I looked at the picture of a badge emblazoned on his shirt.

“Yes,” she said.

“Oh good,” said the man, walking out of the store. If I had been drinking that delicious beverage, I would have done a king-sized spit take at what I saw. The man who had just taken a free drink for law enforcement was not a beat cop thirsty after a long day of chasing perps or reciting the Miranda rights. He was not a detective who had spent his day piecing together crimes by pinning pictures to a bulletin board and one by one crossing suspects off of his list. He wasn’t even a traffic cop who had handed out tickets for illegal parking.

No, this man was from a local security company. The company that patrols the local mall.

Law enforcement, in my opinion, should be entitled to a free fountain drink at every gas station. They do a very necessary job, working day in and day out to protect the good citizens of their jurisdiction. Local security cops, however, do a moderately necessary job of riding around a mall on a Segway, making sure youths do not give into their predilection for causing tomfoolery and shenanigans.

These are not the same level of job.

If I were a cop, I would be very offended by this. This cashier was playing pretty fast and loose with the term “law enforcement.” I mean, I guess by definition this man had enforced a law or two. He had prevented loitering. So I guess, by definition, he should be entitled to a free drink.

If we’re going to be that loosey goosey with the rules, though, I should get a free drink. I have personally enforced many laws. I have never allowed myself to murder anyone, maim anyone, steal anything. I don’t even let myself loiter. I exhibit all kinds of law-abiding self-control, mentally enforcing all of these laws.

By giving this drink to that man, the cashier has set a very dangerous precedent. She has basically said that Columbo, Dirty Harry, Walker Texas Ranger, Kojak, Crockett and Tubbs are the equivalent to Paul Blart: Mall Cop. They are not.

Maybe I am underestimating his job. Maybe he is a security guard for a local factory that houses plutonium and he spends every night having shoot out after shoot out with Russian terrorists bent on world destruction. I haven’t heard of a plutonium factory around here, but that doesn’t mean a thing.

The more likely situation, though, is he is taking advantage of the kindness of the gas station clerk. More importantly than that, though, is that he CUT IN LINE TO DO IT! IN FRONT OF ME! I JUST WANTED MY DRINK! People can’t be just jumping in front of people to ask the cashier for free things! Lines are what separates mankind from the animals! Well, opposable thumbs and speech separate us from the animals. But lines do too! There needs to be some sort of semblance of order in a gas station. They need someone there to enforce the rules of the line.

Someone like a security guard.

That security guard would for sure deserve free drinks.

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31 thoughts on “Apparently “Law Enforcement” Needs a Stricter Definition

  1. Funny, when I was a security officer I never asked for free drinks or cut in line. There was one time though when I went to am/pm the clerk said I could have the coffee for free….I pointed at the security camera and said are you sure I can have this? Okay…I didn’t get arrested that’s all that mattered…and I also waited my turn in line before I got the free coffee. We are Law Enforcers…at the citizen level :)

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  2. You have a gas station at your mall? I have heard, though, that private security companies have been shown to lower crime rates. Wish I could remember where I read it… Still, the post is hilarious and they shouldn’t be getting their Slurpees before everyone waiting in line.

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    • On the surface, that seems like a good idea. However, if one were paying attention, they would notice that I just announced that I am an undercover cop. That means that I am blowing my cover for a free drink. Not even an expensive drink. Just a cheap fountain drink. If I was an undercover cop, that would make me the worst undercover cop, so bad that the gas station might revoke my rights to any drink at all. If I am not an undercover cop, then I’m a liar. It’s a sticky situation you have proposed.

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      • You could have told them that you needed their help and given them an “assignment” such as refilling your cup every time you walked in because you were on a stake out. They didn’t seem too bright anyway and I think that would work just fine! Put one bullet in your pocket and have a toy gun and tell them you’re Barney Fife’s great great nephew.

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  3. I used to work at Starbucks, and we would give free drinks to the cops. Why? Because we were located in the city and we had a lot of druggies and homeless people bother us, and that was a way to get them to come to us whenever we had an issue. It was bribery. Pretty lame to have to give the cops free coffee to have them help us out. But, I agree with your post, this security guard is lame.

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