Jan 6, 2015 6:47 PM by Brian Johnson
Last year cops were victims of both verbal and physical abuse in the wake of deaths at the hands of police-like Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.
Tensions reached a high in New York as two officers were shot in cold blood by a man with a mission to kill cops.
Last night, two more New York City cops were shot, but are expected to survive.
Here in the North State, an esteemed law enforcement academy is using these events as a clear example of what can happen to their cadets in the real world.
Today is day two for the 135th class of the Butte Law Enforcement Academy.
Cadets are in for plenty more push-ups as part of the 23-week program.
Mike Baker graduated from the 134th class last month, and is back to show these cadets that they can do it, despite having doubts of his own after the first day.
Now on the verge of getting his first job at a local law enforcement agency, Baker has no doubts.
Even after cops have been the target of high profile verbal and physical attacks over the last few months, Baker knows this is his calling.
"We're there to help and we want people to recognize that," said Baker. "Unfortunately [there are] negative stereotypes that have been portrayed recently that cops are going to make it worse and we don't want that and that's not how it should be. It should be that we're here to help the community, we're part of the community..."
When we showed Baker a recent and local post on the college app called Fade using emoji's to depict shooting a cop, he wasn't fazed.
"I don't look at that as ‘Oh that guy's going to be a problem for me,'" said Baker. "I look at that as why? What happened? What happened that made you think that way? I want to know because I want to change it because I'm not that police officer and I don't want to be that police officer. I want to help you."
"There's going to be these way out there perspectives and if you want to do this job, you need to be able to live and take care of yourselves in environments where that diversity of thought and opinion goes on," said Butte Law Enforcement Academy instructor Bob Maloney.
Apart from opinions, Maloney says the recent hate on cops is another clear reminder that cops can be thrown into a deadly force situation any time.
Yesterday, the 50-some cadets of class 135 made a short walk to a plaque that pays tribute to the 16 Butte graduates that have died in the line of duty.
Maloney says they show the cadets the plaque not as a scare tactic but as a reminder of what can happen in the real world.
The cadets of class 135 will graduate in June.