Preventing harm

To the editor:
In the days since I opened my copy of the Three Rivers Commercial-News, to see the photo of a young woman I hold in high regard, addressing the Three Rivers City Commission concerning the incident in Scidmore Park on July 25, 2019, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about this specific incident, and the ‘climate’ in which these interactions take place.
We know ‘fight, flight and/or freeze’ are typical responses we as human beings experience when we feel our immediate security threatened. Our society has become one in which any officer must know his/her safety may be at risk in any encounter. Too many persons, who come in contact with officers, have similar fears.
Officer Britton and Mr. Shelton are part of our community. I believe we as a community can find ways to lessen the possibility of either being harmed.
We citizens need to know what is expected of law enforcement officers and those encountered by them. In detail, what is standard procedure at these times? When instructions given by officers are not readily complied with, what happens next? What is unacceptable?
Whenever these procedures fail to reflect our values as a community, we must seek to change them.
We also need to know if our local law enforcement departments have the resources required to do their work in the most effective ways known to them.
To ‘Protect and Serve,’ all members of our community is no easy task for the men and women who have taken these words as their vocational motto.
If this critical department is underfunded, it is we who must be willing to provide the financial shortfall.
 

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