Department of Teacher Education lecturer Ralph McKay wrote a letter to the editor “No mention of serving all in California’s police oath” to the Mercury News and it was recently published! Give it a read below or by visiting the Mercury News at https://bayareane.ws/2Ap3GI3.
The California police officer’s oath states, “I, (employee name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California.
Does the existing California oath address the practical responsibilities of a police officer’s duty? I think not. “Protect and Serve” are the words we see on the side of many police cars and it is the motto of most police departments; therefore, the words define the mission of the police, which is to “protect” and “serve” the community. The California Police Officer’s Oath makes no reference to these responsibilities.
Since California’s oath is based on constitutional responsibilities which are subject to differing interpretations and includes no mention of an officer’s responsibilities to their community, I propose a rider to the oath which states that a police officer must protect and serve all community members.
Proposed Rider to the California Police Officer’s Oath
“I, (employee name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will protect and serve all of the people of my community.