Open Letter to Our Readers
To our readers, fans, and colleagues:
We want to take a few moments to share some decisions we’ve recently made. We planned to post our completed but unpublished work before writing this message, but we feel we must address some recent chatter, the origins of which are unclear.
When The Hairbag Times went live in 2017, the focus was simple: to make cops laugh about the realities of 'the job' and to alleviate the stresses that come with it. We did so in the best way we knew how: self-deprecating satire.
When this all began, we acknowledged there might come a time when doing so would no longer be possible. Unfortunately, in the face of actions we view as disproportionate and personal, we believe that time has arrived.
We always took great care to remain above the fray, abide by policies, and to never cross the line into bitterness, anger, and general distaste. We would not have gotten this far if we didn't.
The feedback we've received publicly by thousands of cops encompassing all ranks and privately by hundreds of others validated our initial mission, driving us to keep going and come up with newer, more ridiculous ways to make you laugh. We never expected to have such a positive effect on morale. That has been the greatest reward.
When we started this site, we opted to remain faceless for two reasons. First, we understood that not all humor is well received and that our content could elicit direct attention. Second, we did not want to lose the creative freedom that substantial anonymity permits. Without it, the page cannot exist in peak form. Writing with fear of reprisal in the backdrop is no way to write. If that were to occur, we knew HBT would shift from being fun to burdensome.
The page is not a profit-motivated business. It's a self-sustaining hobby. The merchandise we sell—with permission—arose from reader demand and pays for the professional platform you have become accustomed to seeing. Any money left over is donated on a rotating basis to various accredited police charities we have advocated for in the past.
As with any hobby, we maintain personal lives and careers to which HBT will always—and must—come secondary. Several months back, certain actions made it clear this secondary status was starting to erode. While we hold no ill will, we correctly predicted this would continue. So, we made the tough call that is was time to move on— the only question remaining being when. We believe that time is now.
This letter will be the last post. Our social media presence will be winding down in the coming week, while our website will remain active in its current form through our subscription expiration later this summer (we are exploring the possibility of archiving our stories onto a more basic platform for anyone to revisit or discover). We will not restock our inventory, and the remaining supply will remain available through the same period for anyone interested in making a final purchase.
We're very proud of the brand we've created and what it represents. We always had only the best of intentions and vowed to use our platform for good. We genuinely believe 99.9% of people saw that, too.
We thank our tens of thousands of readers who have helped us reach this point. We are still in awe that we were ever able to attain such reach. It's been an incredible two years which, frankly, is longer than we could have hoped for.
As we reflect on this endeavor, we never thought we'd have the honor of using our skill set to make cops laugh the way we did, and to make their day a little brighter. In fact, calling it a mere honor is an understatement. For that, we'll be forever grateful.
Regardless of your circumstances, whatever they may be, don't discount your role in this profession. It remains a truly honorable one.
That said, please stay safe, take care of each other, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk to someone when you need to. And, of course, remember to laugh every day.
Thanks for everything.
The Hairbag Times