Cel­e­brat­ing what’s good about neigh­bor­hoods

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

News re­ports of po­lice of­fi­cers as­sault­ing, some­times shoot­ing, ci­ti­zens in ques­tion­able cir­cum­stances — and of ci­ti­zens at­tack­ing law en­force­ment pro­fes­sion­als — have be­come all too com­mon lately. Fresh and ter­ri­ble news of such in­ci­dents seems to smack us weekly.

Thank­fully, South­ern Mary­land has been spared most of this may­hem, but a re­cent al­leged in­ci­dent has shaken the com­mu­nity, and its law en­force­ment. A 32-year-old man who works at the Cove Point gas plant has ac­cused the Calvert sher­iff’s of­fice on so­cial me­dia of mis­con­duct and brutality dur­ing a traf­fic stop ear­lier this month. The agency is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions.

In the face of such re­ports, now is a bet­ter time than ever to re­as­sure the pub­lic that the vast ma­jor­ity of po­lice of­fi­cers sworn to pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties are do­ing so to the best of their abil­ity. They’re the good guys. They care. Next Tues­day, Aug. 1, dozens of com­mu­ni­ties in Charles will join neigh­bor­hoods through­out South­ern Mary­land and across the na­tion in cel­e­brat­ing Na­tional Night Out. From La Plata to Swan Point, from Wal­dorf to Hugh­seville, and all in be­tween, neigh­bors will be gath­er­ing for block par­ties from 6 to 8 p.m. Po­lice of­fi­cers will cer­tainly be drop­ping in — not to tell peo­ple to turn down the mu­sic, but to cel­e­brate right along with them. The whole thing en­cour­ages last­ing aware­ness, watch­ful­ness and de­ter­rence of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Next Tues­day’s cel­e­bra­tion is an­other re­minder that no mat­ter what’s go­ing on in this in­creas­ingly di­vided age, Charles County is a rel­a­tively peace­ful place on the planet. It’s not news­wor­thy that al­most all of the more than 150,000 peo­ple who live, work, play and re­lax here do so safely each day, but it is pretty good news. So get out and en­joy the neigh­bor­hood.

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