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Only Oswego

Letter: Time to Change Our Attitudes Toward Police

May 05, 2015 10:35AM ● By Steven Jack

46 years ago I returned to Illinois from my active duty service, which included Vietnam, only to be met by jeers and accusations such as “baby killer” when I wore my uniform.

Today, some American citizens are treating our police force even worse, and we should all find that intolerable.  Our police, and I would include fire and paramedics, are on the front lines of keeping all of us protected and safe.

Think of their ultimate sacrifice in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks.  Think of the many who die or are maimed in the line of duty. These men and women have life threatening jobs, and carry them out with dignity and professionalism.

Our media has been pointing out the Ferguson’s and Baltimore’s and New York’s—and many citizens have found police guilty by accusation, and then require them to prove their innocence.  This is not justice. It is mob mentality.

Let me ask you this:  Have you heard of the Kendall County Sheriff Deputies who found a disabled man on a sidewalk in an electric wheelchair with a dead battery, and manually pushed him home more than a mile?  Have you heard of my friend who dropped dead in Bristol, but due to the heroic and speedy effort of a policeman rendering CPR, and paramedics giving him two big jolts from a defibrillator, brought him back to life?  Both these events happened in only the last few weeks.

Let us all join together, and whenever we see a first responder, tell them thank you for their service.  Let those of us who have small children teach them to respect our police and first responders, and to do as instructed by them. 

All my experiences with law enforcement have been positive, even when I received a few traffic tickets.  Just as our country has turned around with attitudes toward military personnel since Vietnam, we should start a movement around this country to do the same with law enforcement and first responders.

Leonard R Wass, Captain, USN (Ret)