Letter to the editor: Policing is not what it used to be

Posted

My hat is off to anyone brave enough to be a policeman. It’s a job few people can do. They save lives. They keep people safe. It’s an honorable and much needed profession. That said, and only in the interest of hopefully improving current public relations, I am going to bring up an observation I made at the Clark County Fair this year.

My wife and I were walking the fair and passed by the sheriff’s community outreach booth. I’ve been by it in the past with the usual couple of officers passing out stickers and pamphlets. This year was different, with eight or 10 officers gathered around in a circle, heads on a swivel, looking like they were expecting a suicide bomber to attack them.

All were wearing body armor and heavily armed. For the first time ever, I felt a fear of being close to policemen. Me, an old white guy.

I don’t profess to know the answer to a very complex problem, but I wonder if military training is the best way to train police. There is a difference between invading a country and protecting your community. 



I also wonder if looking like Charlie Company on patrol may not make people see the police more like the enemy than the community members they are.

Jeff Johnson, 

La Center

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