Every adult in America probably has a story about an a**hole cop. There’s a cliche that the biggest jerks you knew in school went on to be in law enforcement. Either that, or meter maids. It’s a cliche because it’s true…there is a pattern that everyone sees and everyone knows, even cops. For a certain type of personality, law enforcement satisfies a need to feel powerful, needed, and authoritative. They don’t make up the majority of police officers.
But it’s not just law enforcement. Different jobs attract different types. The Catholic priesthood and other pastoral positions and the teaching profession can attract adults who long to abuse children and seek the type of authority that engenders trust. They don’t make up the majority of pastoral leaders and teachers.
It is a universal truth that every good job attracts a measure of bad people. This world will never be short on awful people trying to worm their way into positions of trust. That doesn’t mean we eliminate those positions. It means we never stop working to make sure those jobs are safer and more accountable.