Good Officers

by Ashepherd on October 28, 2016 - 1:02pm

Recently most news stories are about all the bad in the world. A lot of the negative attention is going towards police officers. I would like to bring some of the positive things police officers do; they aren’t all like the ones that have been in the news.  

In December, 2012 a New York City police officer came across a homeless man in Manhattan. The man was disheveled and had no shoes. With the cold weather the officer did what most of us would never consider doing; he bought him a pair of all-weather boots. A woman managed to get a picture of Officer Lawrence DePrimo helping the homeless man, Jeffrey Hillman, put on his socks and boots. A former classmate of Hillman said, “He’d give the shirt off his back for friends, so now, let’s put the shirt back on him." The article further discusses the things people are trying to do to help Hillman get back on his feet. This article is very heartwarming to read. Especially with all the bad news that is currently out there. It’s nice to see that there are still good people out there. Officers are there to help us, but more recently it seems they’re not. We have been seeing a lot of stories about officers shooting unarmed people. This story shows that not all cops are bad, they just want to help.

There is a story like this in Florida, a police officer was responding to a noise complaint. Upon arriving he found a group of kids playing street basketball. He then joined the kids in their game. According to Officer Ben Tobias this was something not out of the ordinary for Officer White. HE had previously asked to use funds to buy footballs and basketballs to give to kids. Officer White later returned with NBA star Shaquille O’Neal for a rematch with the kids.

Rather than break up the kids’ game and send them all home Officer White let them stay, while many others would have sent them home. Seeing an officer that is happy to play with and help the kids is a nice change of pace. He is promoting exercise and fun. There are many bad choices those kids could have made instead of playing basketball. Showing them having fun without any drugs or alcohol is something more kids need. By playing with them he is showing them that not all Officers are bad, which is something that we need to see more of. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/12/nypd_officers_good_deed_sheds.html

Comments

Thank you for writing about this topic. I have very strong feelings on this topic. growing up in a family who hasn't cared for police officers to moving into my boyfriends family who is all retired police, has been very interesting experience. I strongly believe there are good cops in the world i think they are human beings themselves and have a very difficult job protecting our cities.

First of all I want to say thanks for your post, it’s always wonderful to hear the other side of a story, or at least to shed some light on the positive things that the people who we consider to be are protectors are doing. I just wanted add a few arguments for you to think about. I agree with you that there are a number of police officers that go out of their way to be respectful and helpful, however the anger that people feel towards police officers has to do with institutionalized factors that go far beyond the individual. It is in this regard that our police officers have been failing the people they should be protecting. The institution of policing has ingrained within it ideals of racism, classism and ableism and these can be seen in the growing number of police officers that unproportionately harm Black men and POCs, as well as re-victimize survivors of assault. This is not to say that they are inherently racist or classist, however it has been ingrained in the institution that they are trained in that certain demographics are more harmful. This has led to numerous black men that have been killed even though they we unarmed, or even disabled and posing no threat to the officers.

I think that it is important to not necessarily jump to the conclusion that all police are racists who intentionally target specific demographics. I think it has much more to do with the training they are provided and how exposed they are to different socio-political experiences. It has been observed that not all police officers have received adequate trauma training and thus when they interact with victims of violence they sometimes re-traumatize the people who needed their protection. Essentially what i’m trying to get at is that even though it is within a police officer's mandate protect people from danger, they may not have adequate training that allows them to fully comprehend situations that require their actions to be informed by an intersectional knowledge of the differing realities that the people they are trying to protect face. It is the job of police to protect society's most vulnerable and marginalized and until this happens I believe that the negative image of the police institution will be maintained.

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