To the Editor:
The police officers I know personally are professionals, dedicated and proud of the honor and service represented by the badge they wear. They are mothers, fathers and grandparents that send their children to the same schools your children attend, worship at the same churches/synagogues as you, enjoy the same restaurants and shop in the same stores.
They are neighbors that live down the street. They would have zero tolerance for a fellow officer whose behavior tarnishes their reputation and the oath they have proudly all taken.
Police departments that don’t put an immediate stop to corrupt, egregious behavior of their officers are no better than the church hierarchy that protected priests who were brutalizing children in their care. The church paid a huge price, not only financially but in a severely tainted reputation that they are still trying to recover from. The suffering and shame inflicted on the children involved will haunt them for a lifetime.
Just as pedophile priests have to be identified and removed, so do disreputable police that practice excessive, brutal, racist and all-too-often deadly behavior. They bring dishonor to the hardworking, honest, devoted-to-duty officers (the majority) in their department.
Why do we expect police officers to solve all problems? Such as seeing the homeless are cared for or called to get involved with those who have mental health issues? Wouldn’t they be better served by social workers or mental health professionals? Shouldn’t those with drug addictions/issues be cared for by medical professionals?
And why have police been so militarized? Maybe it’s time to stop referring to police officers as “law enforcement” and go back to “peace officers.”
Continued thank you to all first responders, health care and essential workers that go to work every day to make everyday living safer for us.