Police: To Serve and Protect
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Politics and Activism

Police: To Serve and Protect

Thoughts on anti-police rhetoric.

Police:  To Serve and Protect

For the past year or so I have seen a very anti-police rhetoric become much more common. This worries me a great deal. With all of this anger toward law enforcement, we are beginning to see an increase in violence. In the past, violence by the majority has been pepper spraying officers, throwing punches, protesting against them. However, in the last few months and days we have seen this violence in a much greater and more malevolent form. On Thursday night, five officers were targeted and assassinated. These officers were simply doing their duty to keep people and property safe during a protest. This anti-police rhetoric must end.

I come from a family of officers. My grandpa, a Vietnam Vet, has been a sheriff in South Salem for more years than I can count, and even after retiring, he is still a deputy at the Salem supreme court house. I was in a Police Cadet-like program for three and a half years in high school. My former mentor is a Seargent in one of the cities I live near. My dad’s good friend is a narcotics officer in Seattle. I have grown up with the mentality that police officers are (for the most part) there only to protect you. It is in the classic statement “to protect and serve." I am not saying that all officers respect or fulfill this role accurately. I do believe that there is that small percentage that should never be granted the power that they were. That being said, when it comes to these situations, I believe officers should bs and are held to a higher standard when an officer commits a crime. The officer should be treated the same as any other citizen during the trial (though the punishments should be greater).

First, let me explain what I mean when I say that officers should be treated the same. The classic phrase that comes to mind in “with great power comes great responsibility." Police officers are given power, so they should be held to a higher standard of responsibility. Now, when I say that they should be treated as any other citizen, I am referring to the phrase and ideology of “innocent until proven guilty.” If there was a crime committed, the person suspected is taken to trial and not found guilty (then convicted) unless the evidence shows that “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that individual is innocent or guilty. Officers suspected of convicting crimes should be treated the same way. I wholeheartedly believe that unless a police officer (or anyone who commits a crime for that matter) is found guilty, they should be only treated as a suspect and not immediately demonized. That is what I try my best to do when looking at a scenario. I personally try to get as much information as I can before I form a polarized opinion. With all that being said, I also wholeheartedly believe that should an officer be found guilty of some crime, their punishment should be greater than that of the average citizen for the simple fact when they wear the badge, they are granted power. A power that should never be taken lightly.

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