I am troubled by the anti-police rhetoric and graffiti in Olympia. Questions can be raised about the police response in several recent national incidents that led to deaths. At the same time it is important to consider the role of law enforcement in our community and the daily life of a police officer.
While most police work in a community like Olympia is routine, an officer never knows what a day at work will bring. A routine traffic stop can lead to a violent outcome. Police officers work in an environment that has many unpredictable aspects and potentially violent situations: individuals looking to promote confrontations; the criminally aggressive; others whose behavior is affected by mental illness or chemical use. Police are called upon to make instant decisions that affect their safety and that of the public.
Instead of demonizing all police officers and defacing property, let’s recognize the valuable contribution the police make to our society. Let’s engage in dialogue about community expectations for public safety for all.