My family has been involved in public safety for over fifty years. Myself, 30 years in the fire service and my son twenty years in the police service. During that time, I have known many good Police Officers and Firefighters. Were there any bad ones? Absolutely, but as my son used to say. “No one hates a bad cop more than a good cop.” I am sure that rings true for the fire service and for just about any line of work you can bring to mind. Bad behavior is a reflection on all of the members.
I read with dismay the attempts of people in Minneapolis and other cities to get rid of their Police Departments and the Police aren’t even part of the discussion because the city officials don’t want to even hear what they have to say. This motley group of elected officials who have little idea what Police Officers go through, have it all figured out without police participation. It’s a shame because most of the good Police Officers will be leaving. It’s hard to get new officers to fill positions in towns where they are wanted right now. Why would they subject themselves to work for people like this? My heart goes out to every police officer who served his/ or her city for years. Working night and day through natural disasters and bloody car wrecks. Been cursed and spit on and chastised for doing their job. Who worked through Christmas Eves, their kids’ birthdays and almost every kind of macabre incident and then had to hide their natural emotions and then go home and be a dad or a mom or a husband or wife? I ask you, if a teacher messes up in a school, do they fire all of the teachers? If your paster misbehaves, do you close up the church? If a Nurse messes up do you close the hospital? You can see where I am going with this and the answer is always no. An emphatic no.
A public body hired to keep law and order in our communities is, and always has been, necessary. It’s written right in most of the charters. Human beings, being what they are, will always need supervision and outside guidance when it comes to the laws we live under. The only ones who don’t want the Police, are those who choose to live outside the laws and those who support the people who don’t want to live within the laws. Recent incidents have been used to inflame the public. The media does play a big part in this as do certain legislators. There will always be tragic mistakes in law enforcement and every effort must be made to correct that, Police need to be held accountable when they cause harm to those they are paid to protect. It seems to me that is what’s happening,and what is being proposed, will only exasperate a growing crime problem in Minneapolis. The tax payers will just have another multi-million-dollar feel good program that will be with them forever and solve nothing.
All right I will get off my soap box. Policing is not the same in this small town as it is in Minneapolis. There are not a lot of shootings up here, not at people anyway. There were 11 people shot in Minneapolis yesterday and 2 killed. Do you think compassionate care will fix that? Police do not want to deal with mentally ill people and having the appropriate people do that is a right move. Is race a factor? Yes absolutely. But you can’t legislate the healing that needs to take place for that to end. It needs to come from the hearts and minds of all of us and it’s been going on forever. Anyone who has the answer--- for God’s sake tell us.