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Understanding what police go through

Not many in our society know what an officer of the law goes through. of the police officers are pretty durable and have the mental capacity to hold up. There are psychiatrists when needed. But, for the most part, they are able to put things into perspective and handle whatever it is that is thrown at them at the time.

I have three friends who are all retired police officers from towns of varying sizes. Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Brownsville, Texas, Elkins, West Virginia. My friend from Winston-Salem told me of an incident that took place at night. He was in a chase after two men who were in a car that were responsible for break-ins in his part of town. He forced them down a street with a cul-de-sac at the end. One jumped out of the car, while the other circled around and drove the car toward him. By the grace of God and a rock in the road, the car wrecked into another, thus stopping it and keeping from hitting him.

Brownsville, Texas is a border town. As in bordering Mexico. This is were my other friend was from and worked. He was constantly dealing with break-ins, robberies, and burglaries. Most were illegal immigrants that had crossed over the border. Some were carrying weapons. From guns to knives.

Every time he was checking out an incident, there was the chance of getting killed. Stopping trucks for sneaking immigrants over the border. And yes, it happens in small-town America, too.

My other friend who worked at the Elkins City Police Department told me of a story in which he chased after a man down an alley on a Saturday night, involved in a bar fight that spilled out into the street, in which others were injured. He chased one of the suspects down and alley. When he cornered him in that alley, he noticed something in the back of his jeans. He told the man to empty his pockets and out came a butcher knife. Yes, small-town America.

I saw the same footage that you did of George Floyd and how he died, and like you, I was appalled. No one should have to die like that. Regardless of race, sex, or religion. But there are those who have made a blanket statement that all police are bad, even racist. No, they are not.

These officers are men and women and are made up of many races. These men and women put themselves on the line every day. They do not know if they will make it home that evening.

To those in Congress, state Legislature, and City Council, please be careful what you restrict or cut. We do not need our men and women in blue second-guessing themselves. It could mean their lives or even ours.

Oh, and Congress… any lobbyists ever hit you guys up to pass laws to change the human heart? Oh, wait a minute, that requires money. Forget it.

Clark Martin

Elkins

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