Sworn law enforcement officers make up a very small fraction of the population, yet on a daily basis these officers are constantly interacting with large numbers of citizens for a variety of reasons. The overwhelming majority of contact is carried out professionally.
When emotions are running high and certain people feel the need to express their distrust or contempt for law enforcement, it is easy to forget the valuable role that law enforcement officers play in keeping our society functioning safely. Yes, there are cases where certain officers act outside of the lines of professional conduct, and we should hold those individuals accountable for their actions.
However, it is very important that we make the distinction between the actions of the few and those of the majority. We must understand that judging law enforcement as a whole based on the actions of the few that we find troubling is wrong, and if we do disagree with how a situation transpires, we should allow it to be judged independently and transparently.
In the midst of continuous media coverage that focuses intensely on single situations, it is far too easy to make assumptions about every law enforcement officer or every department based on what we see in specific situations that we might not even know all of the facts to.
We do not have a systemic problem with law enforcement and citizen relations. What we have are specific instances that gather national attention and push some to believe that what they see or hear is the normal when in fact it is not.
Every day, police officers go out to work and put their own lives and safety at risk to handle situations that the ordinary citizen seeks help for. If you are in trouble and call 911 for help, a police officer is going to come to your aid. Every day, the overwhelming majorities of our law enforcement officers uphold high standards of moral, professional conduct and provide a service that we need to live and work peacefully.
We as citizens owe respect to these men and women that put themselves on the line for the betterment of society.
Connor Jones is a supply chain technology junior may be reached at [email protected].