Children need better perspective of law enforcement
During an interview with the Jennings Daily News earlier this week, Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office Dep. Bill Kettler made a statement that really made this newspaper think about how adults teach children to view law enforcement officers (LEO).
Discussing his reasons for signing on to be one of the parish’s two latest Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officers, Kettler said, “One thing every officer hates is sitting in a restaurant eating and hearing a parent say, ‘You see that cop? If you’re bad, he’ll put you in jail.’ If your child was in trouble, would you rather them run to a cop or a stranger?”
That statement made a valuable point. Exactly how do we, as adults, teach younger generations the value and importance of LEO?
We know that in society, as well as Jeff Davis Parish, there is a certain level of mistrust toward LEO and the legal system. While we do not deny that many LEO have aided in that mistrust, even more officers have dedicated themselves to their work and communities by not only enforcing, but upholding the laws meant to protect the innocent.
Good and bad is found on both sides of law enforcement and society. Just as we have good citizens, we also have good LEO who stand up for what is right.
With that said, the adults of this parish need to teach children how valuable LEO are. Our children need to know that LEO are not bad people, but when a person makes a bad decision, the law has to carry out justice. They need to know that LEO do more than arrest the bad guys. Children need to know that our LEO leave their homes and families during storms just to ensure strangers are safe; they drive through our neighborhoods while we sleep, watching for suspicious activities and people; they save victims during vehicle crashes; they change flat tires for senior citizens on the side of roadways during thunderstorms; they patrol public events like fairs, parades, outdoor concerts and more to ensure people have a fun yet safe experience; and so many other actions that we often overlook.
There is much more to law enforcement than looking for a bad guy. We need to recognize this truth and pass such knowledge on to a generation that desperately needs to be on the same side as law enforcement.
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