Do We Really Need To Protest Paw Patrol?
Chase Is A Good Cop
Why Lose A Positive Police Figure?
Before I get into the crux of why I'm writing today, let me be clear: I support Black Lives Matter, I do not in any way support police brutality, and I do not think those who are actually protesting should be confused for those who might be taking the opportunity during these ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd's death to loot stores. While I believe that there are some police officers who might be racially motivated in their approach to those who break the law - they might be more aggressive or combative with people of color or with indigenous individuals than they might be with those who are white, for example - there are many police officers who are truly kind, compassionate individuals who are focused on helping those who need help.
All that being said, I do understand that right now, police forces across North America, if not worldwide, are under serious scrutiny for their treatment of those in their custody or those they are in the process of arresting. Because of that, those cops that do their job and do it without violence are nearly forgotten. You hear of one bad cop, you think all are bad, right? We take on that sort of thinking with every group we encounter; our dealings with a small number who are bad seem to make us think that everyone in that group are bad.
I suppose that's why Chase the police dog on Paw Patrol is now under attack.
For the uninitiated, Paw Patrol is an animated children's show which features a group of talking dogs with unique talents. Rubble the bulldog, for instance, can build anything. Marshall, the Dalmatian, is a firefighter who specializes in putting fires out and potentially rescuing animals or children from heights. Chase is a German shepherd who specializes in rescuing those who are in trouble.
I get that all things police-related are a hot-button topic right now. Really, I do. However, shouldn't even our youngest members of society have a positive role model - albeit animated and four-legged - to look up to? Chase is friendly, kind, and enthusiastic about his job. Regardless of the job Chase the police dog is doing, he works hard to make sure everything is looked after. Never mind the fact that he's a police dog - shouldn't we all be that happy and passionate about whatever field we work in?
But I digress.
I get that as adults, we might look at Chase the police dog and question whether or not it would be wise to continue having a police dog on a children's show in the current political climate. There are, after all, arguments about defunding police departments and ongoing negative images about police officers being peppered throughout the media because of George Floyd's death at the hands of a police officer who knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
However, Chase the police dog demonstrates an idealized vision of how the police should be. He is the figure who leads the case to rescue stray kittens and so forth. He's the guy who tries to make societal wrongs right in the show, and is that not a hugely positive message about police officers we should be passing on to our little ones? He's also a team player - again demonstrating positive traits that we would likely want our own children to take on, regardless of profession.
Ultimately, I would have far greater concerns about Chase the police dog if I at least once saw him bare his teeth at someone in the show, or suddenly start roughing kittens up, but he doesn't. His focus is on taking care of those who are in trouble and on working with his friends to make things better for people, not in giving people who are different a hard time. Chase's behaviors are those which seep into our children's consciousness about what is good in the world - even if that world is very animated and doesn't on its surface really resemble our world at all. However, especially now, we need to show our youngest members of society positive role models in all fields, but especially in law enforcement. Chase the police dog fills that bill quite nicely.
Leave Chase on the case.