Lucretius over at Chicago Boyz links to an interesting article by a sociologist about why the police are hated.
The police are not hated where I am, and I think the points are diluted in NH. Still, even among police supporters in my experience, there are eye-rolls and "some of these guys" exasperated gestures. And there are terrible and violent ones even here in gentle, low-crime NH. There is no Motive-o-Meter that can tell you why a particular person is going into police work, and it is often not revealed until s/he is under pressure. At that point, you have to start creating a paper trail to get rid of them, which gets complicated because each incident usually involves other officers, and each PD has perverse incentives of one sort or another that the poor SOB may be just trying to balance as best he can.
My thought is that there is something for and against the more common POV's here, but presented evenhandedly. If I have a strong criticism, it is that his order of presentation implies a hierarchy that I don't think is supported by evidence, and that I suspect is not correct. However, as there are things on this list I would dearly love for liberals, especially those in journalism and academia, to at least absorb and consider, I will gladly swallow all my own objections in the interest of getting this out there.