Sup­port your peace­keep­ers, not vi­o­lent of­fend­ers

Cecil Whig - - OPINION - Com­mu­nity Voice FROM: MICHAEL ZACK

Cecil County FOP Lodge No. 2

A re­cent let­ter to edi­tor by for­mer Cecil County Com­mis­sioner Rebecca Demm­ler re­grad­ing high speed chases has once again missed the mark of po­lice prac­tices and ex­em­pli­fies the strug­gle law en­force­ment faces on a daily ba­sis.

The loss of life in any cir­cum­stance is tragic and does not rest easy on the mind of a peace keeper, but make no mis­take the fault does not lie with the of­fi­cer but with the vi­o­la­tor who ini­ti­ated the ac­tion.

The in­ci­dent you re­fer to in which the vi­o­la­tor lost her life on Aug. 8 stemmed from a car­jack­ing! Yes, po­lice of­fi­cers do feel the need to “im­me­di­ately catch the bad guy.” That is what we are paid to do. The sus­pect’s ac­tion caused the hor­rific ac­ci­dent af­ter they car­jacked an el­derly in­di­vid­ual. We wouldn’t want your fam­ily to fall vic­tim to these in­di­vid­u­als ei­ther should we just de­cide to look for them an­other time.

The prob­lem this coun­try faces is a lack of ac­count­abil­ity. Bad peo­ple do bad things rou­tinely on this planet. In­stead of hold­ing them ac­count­able for their ac­tions, we blame the peo­ple who took an oath to pro­tect the in­no­cent.

Po­lice de­part­ments through­out this coun­try have es­tab­lished strin­gent guide­lines re­gard­ing ve­hi­cle pur­suits in the wake of hor­ri­ble ac­ci­dents such as these. They must fol­low these guide­lines in split sec­onds af­ter ev­ery pos­si­ble check­off re­gard­ing the sus­pect and their ac­tions have been ver­i­fied. Those guide­lines in­clude whether the per­son run­ning is wanted for a vi­o­lent felony, what speed the sus­pect is driv­ing, how heavy the traf­fic is in that area and whether other means are avail­able to end the sus­pect’s ac­tions, among more.

I’m sure it was quite easy to sit in the com­fort of your home and pen this ed­i­to­rial while brave men and women pro­tect you 24/7. We look for the pub­lic’s sup­port ev­ery day to make this county a bet­ter place to live — sup­port that was quite lack­ing dur­ing your term as a county com­mis­sioner.

Mike Zack is the pres­i­dent of Cecil County Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge No. 2.

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