Opinion

Stop your whining about cops

Police officers are blessed with the not-so-easy job of catching the killers, thieves, drug dealers and vandals of our city.

Sometimes they are shot at. Sometimes they are punched.

They aren’t called to jump start a party, they are often called to crash it.

They are feared and hated.

Sound like fun?

We need to wake up and give police officers more respect for their difficult jobs, even if we are dished an unwanted speeding ticket occasionally.

“The police do get called when things aren’t going well,” said Chief Rob Forbes. People often develop a negative attitude toward cops, “Especially people who are being taken into custody,” he said.

Even though your heart is pounding and you are brimming with adrenaline when a cop signals you over, take a deep breath and calmly engage in conversation.

Remember, speeding or not wearing your seat belt is rarely or never justified.

An argument won’t get you anywhere.

Many times I hear the complaint that police officers have a bad attitude toward the people they pull over.

If it appears that police officers have a guilty until proven innocent tone, it is probably because all day long they have to listen to lies and excuses and angry people.

According to the Chaplain and Patrol Officer Ken Butler of the Bremerton Police Department, although national divorce rates are 48 percent, more than 70 percent of police officers who marry get divorced, partly due to the emotional stress they undergo on the job.

Many cops develop relationship problems. If a cop blows up, it is posted all over the newspaper front pages. Domestic violence is never permitted, but when one cop commits it, all police officers get painted with the same brush.

“There are times that you feel that the public makes judgements about what we’ve done without having first hand knowledge,” said Det. Wendy Davis, whose husband was killed in the line of duty in San Diego in 1991.

Davis said she doesn’t have time to think about whether or not she is going to die at work.

“Every day my main goal is to go home at the end of the day. Officer safety is primary,” she said.

According to Forbes, every officer knows the risks of the job before they start it. They have support amongst their co-workers and support outside the office is appreciated.

In December, Butler started an adopt-a-cop program where local churches “adopt” a police officer by sending him or her letters, cookies or calls of support. Butler furnishes a plaque to the church with a picture of the officer.

He eventually wants to get an officer sponsored in each local church. It is a big step toward creating a better connection between the police and Bremerton residents. Now it is your chance to do the rest.

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