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Let’s respect our police officers, while holding all sides accountable

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I do not respond to many published news stories, However, every now and then, I seem to be compelled to lay my opinion on the proverbial table. This is my response to Editor Vince Luecke’s Trigger Happy:

We have all seen video clips and heard references to your scenario for the past several months. However, we do not hear often that our law enforcers are shot when trying to identify the erratic driver of a vehicle that could be, or, is a definite danger to other innocent drivers who share the roadway.

We have shootings where it is unclear why the driver fired on an officer who was simply trying to keep residents safe. We have officers sitting in their parked patrol car, shot by a random passerby. Officers are called to a residence, where there is suppose to be threats to another, only to be ambushed when they arrive. Any news savvy American can name a number of violent acts against law enforcers across this nation on a weekly basis.

These heinous acts generally do not result in an arrest. If these incidents do not result in the officers death, they, in fact may be put on probation until an investigation is completed.

I agree with you that these incidents have done great damage nationwide in the growing mistrust ... of the news media, public officials and lawmakers across our entire country. If we are wondering, “if our law enforcers are making poor judgments, if they are racially biased, or, trigger happy”,  then our elected city/county officials have failed in their responsibility to their constituents.

This would be their responsibility to train these men and women properly, to read and check their resumes, to make some phone calls before they are hired, in order to be assured that these applicants are properly trained, properly certified, properly using their authority correctly before they are hired. then, stand behind their officers when there is an incident.

Of course, there have been no major events like you and I are speaking, here in Perry County. This is home, where the he suspect and the officers are most likely related, friends or prior school mates. At least, their parents probably grew up together.

Not true in big cities like, Baltimore, Dallas, St. Louis and Chicago, where there has been conflict against law enforcers. Massive riots with destructive violence are common place today.

 Resisting a police officer should be a major incident! Law enforcers have the authority of the city, or, county behind them. This being true, when a patrol officer orders, ”Halt”, or “Stop”, he has the entire city/county’s authority (including the people, the mayor, the board members) behind him/her, saying, Halt! Stop!

When the suspect refuses to follow the patrol officer’s command, the suspect is defying the voice of the entire district from whose badge the patrol officer wears. If officers must Taser a suspect in order to halt them, this is not the fault of the officer. I believe there are likely hundreds of cases where the officer was overcome by the suspect, many good officers have died.

So, I say, stand behind our law officers, demand that suspects obey our officers. No one officer should ever patrol alone. I realize the economic effect this would have on communities, but it would be worth the cut in funding on other social benefit programs to fund more police officers and give them a better chance of apprehending suspects while covering/protecting each other. I believe each officer should be armed with a personal mounted camera as well.

More money I know, but also more protection for our law enforcers.

Again, I can agree with another point you’ve made.  I think no true American citizen would want to see an officer wounded or killed in the line of duty. Also, none would want to have officers who are willing to shoot on sight and perhaps wound or kill an innocent citizen. However, humans do make bad judgment calls every day, on many different fronts, but properly trained officers are not liable to make as many of these calls as you or I.

Therefore, hire properly trained individuals, stand behind them and support them first, if/when an incident occurs.

I think we need a new mind set. The officer should not be the suspect! If, indeed there is an abusive person wearing the law enforcer’s uniform their personal camera would aid greatly in resolving allegations. Investigate that officer without news paper articles, nor fanfare.

Keep the investigation within the ranks of law enforcement, and city/county officials, not on the front pages. Allow the same board/people who hired him, or, her to dismiss him, or, her. I think if there is an officer over stepping their authority, it will be known. In the meanwhile, may we all take the time to realize the risks these fine citizens of our community take in our behalf.

Please give them the benefit of a doubt when an accusation arises. They have already been scrutinized and approved. Therefore, allow any doubts to be to their advantage until proven otherwise.

Our local officers have proven themselves time and time again. We all know these fine folks and know their families, but citizens in the big cities where there seems to be open season on law enforcers, for no reason except they have authority to arrest a law breaker. These officers seem to me, to be getting a very  undeserved, lowly treatment for no legitimate reason. Let us all support our law enforcers nationwide and not insinuate that they are abusing their authority. It may not be happening here, which is a thing to be thankful for, but if it is happening anywhere in our great USA, it should be our concern and we should take a stand against brutality toward Police.

 

Miriam Liner

Tell City