Cartoon: Teaching Cops To Be Healers

This cartoon is a collaboration with Kevin Moore.

Help me make more of these cartoons (and to pay collaborators like Kevin and Becky!) by supporting my Patreon! Even a $1 or $2 pledge really matters.

I get a lot of suggestions for cartoons, and I take almost none of them. But once in a rare while…

Back in August, patron Brian Balk wrote:

Hey Barry, I hope you’re well. I’m just writing to share a cartoon idea I had, of police officers using CPR training dummies to practice choke holds.

I wrote Brian back saying, essentially, “maybe.” But the idea kept coming back to me, and I mentally played with structuring the gag a few different ways. When one of the ideas made me chuckle, I wrote a script for it and put it in my “to be drawn someday” folder.

I offered it to Kevin Moore to draw – his slightly grotesque style seemed to fit well with these slightly grotesque characters – and, happily, Kev said yes.


This cartoon has four panels. In addition, there’s a tiny fifth “kicker” panel under the comic strip.


A middle-aged politician-looking dude wearing a suit and tie, and with thick hair neatly parted in the middle, is standing behind a podium with microphones on it. Behind him, we can see a building with a large sign above the entrance saying “City Hall.” Let’s call this guy “Mayor.”

MAYOR: The protesters say the police cannot be reformed – that police culture is beyond saving. That we must abolish and start over.


A couple of hands are holding a tablet; on the tablet, the mayor, raising a finger and with a very serious expression, continues speaking.

MAYOR: The protestors are wrong! Nothing’s wrong with police culture. We don’t need major reform, just some slight adjustments!


Another panel showing the mayor at the podium. This is a wider shot, and we can see that the “City Hall” building behind him is just a flat image on a backdrop.  In front of him is a large professional looking video camera, and next to the camera a man with a mustache is grinning and giving the mayor a “thumbs up” signal. The mayor is grinning and pumping one fist victoriously in the air.

MAYOR: For example, the city just purchased new CPR dummies for police to train on. We will show people that police can be heroes and healers!


We’re in a new location – a large empty room with wood-paneled floors (or vinyl with a wood pattern, more likely), like some gymnasiums have. There are three men here, all wearing blue police tees and shorts. The nearest cop is holding a CPR dummy in a chokehold. Next to him, another cop, wearing a helmet and visor, is raising a nightstick to hit the CPR dummy with. In the background, a third cop is watching and taking notes in a little notepad.

FIRST COP: Okay, let’s train! I’ve got the dummy in a choke hold… Harry, you beat it with your nightstick.

HARRY: Can’t I shoot it instead?


The third cop from panel 4 – the one who was taking notes – is asking the mayor a question. The mayor looks at the cop with a somewhat distressed expression.

COP: Do CPR dummies come in Black?

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One Response to Cartoon: Teaching Cops To Be Healers

  1. I’ve been reading through the comment threads of some of the recent posts, and I just wanted to drop in and say hello and that I really miss the discussions here.

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