Community must support police service

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 5, 2010

The old cliché is that “you don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone.” That general philosophy seems to apply to the public perception of law enforcement.

Locally, far too many citizens are quick to condemn the men and women who protect our city and our county, often lobbing harsh criticism for every move they make.

As a community, we need to do more to provide moral and verbal support for law enforcement. It will make these agencies stronger if they feel they have the citizens behind them.

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Right now, it is the detractors that are most vocal. Those who appreciate and support the police often don’t stand up to say anything.

But that is not to say that law enforcement officials deserve a free pass. Those who make mistakes or don’t do their jobs should be treated the same way private citizens would in similar situations.

But the general public has to realize that these men and women are all human and they make mistakes. It is important that the flaws of some aren’t used as a broad brush to stereotype all law enforcement officials.

As in everything in life, there are bad apples in every bunch. It is also important to wait until all the information is out there before anyone rushes to judgement on anyone who is facing criminal or conduct issues.

Police officers have difficult — and mostly thankless — jobs that are made that much harder when the collective many are punished for the mistakes of the few.