Let me first state right up front that I absolutely respect and appreciate the police. Certainly, there have been incidents recently across the country that call into question the judgment of some individuals and even some police organizations in some areas, but the overall the institution of law enforcement is populated with noble men and women doing their best to keep order and safety on their respective beats. When I made the decision to don gaudy leotards and become an anonymous vigilante, it was in no way an indictment or criticism of the police’s dedication, attitudes, or competency; I was merely trying to help, and through vigilanteism, can sometimes do things that proper law enforcement cannot, not least of which is to break the law so as to uphold it.
If I suspect some person or organization of some nefarious intent, I – as a career vigilante – am free to follow and watch them for as long as I wish, and at my leisure; police have a lot on their plate, and even if they had time enough to tail someone indefinitely, they are subject to restrictions against harassment – as well they should be! As I should be as well, but as a vigilante, of course, I am a scofflaw (in this regard) and will follow my instincts to where they lead.
But I suppose the overriding motivation I have to aid standard law-enforcement, is that I can often stop crimes before they even happen. That’s a tricky line to walk for police; how can they know what someone is thinking before they act? How can I? Admittedly, I have no special skills or powers that make my suspicions any better than Officer Cop, but again, I have anonymity; I have less accountability. Police will always have superiors, peers, internal affairs, and so on, to question and investigate their actions which, again, is appropriate. As a vigilante, I don’t have that kind of oversight (as long as they don’t catch me), and can act on suspicions and hunches to put myself in position to act when and if necessary before innocent civilians get hurt.
This brings me to a possibly surprising attitude towards relations between vigilantes and The Law; Career Vigilantes such as myself must NEVER EVER BE GIVEN LEGAL SANCTION to act as we do. That’s right; my chosen vocation is illegal, and must absolutely remain illegal if it is ever going to have positive impact on society, because any nutcase with superpowers (or superior training and skill) can put on a mask and claim to be a Good Guy, but only his/her actions can bear that out. For that matter, any Good Guy out there could be manipulated or blackmailed into chaos or crime, or maybe they just snapped one day, and turned to the dark side. Perhaps a new masked vigilante shows up, and shows him/herself to be one of the Good Guys for some time, but then uses that established good will to get the opportunity they needed to pull off some Great Caper they were planning all along.
The upshot is that the safety that anonymity affords the masked vigilante, translates to an equivalent uncertainty in the rest of the population, which should not be ignored. I advocate for a paradigm in which any acts by a masked or Career Vigilante that have positive results, those results can be appreciated and accepted, and maybe the vigilante be given some slack and not necessarily hunted down for illegal (though ultimately beneficial) acts. But as soon as any masked or Career Vigilante starts showing suspicious behavior, seems to have commited a crime, or does anything significantly out of character (as far as has been established by previous experience), then by all means stand up, take notice, and if appropriate hunt that guy/gal down! Who knows, somebody may have duplicated my costume and approximated my mannerisms!
I heartily believe that Career Vigilantes such as I (as well as the vast array of others that I have met and worked with) can do a lot of good in the world. But I believe just as strongly that the police, the public, even the media, should continue to be constantly vigilant and observant over all of us, to make sure that any established goodwill, by either individuals or vigilantes in general, doesn’t set up a greater tragedy due to complacency or deliberate misdirection. So… by all means, be thankful if I stopped that mugger from taking your purse, or saved your son from that kidnapper, but DO NOT then assume that everybody wearing a mask is here to help. And DON’T get angry at the police for being suspicious of me and my ilk; they absolutely SHOULD BE, because sometimes… they’ll be RIGHT.