Southern Maryland News

Officer shouldn’t be demonized for comment


I am writing this letter in response to the article that was written condemning the remarks made by Pfc. Rob Glover [in regards to the two Westlake High School teenagers who were killed in a car crash; “Charles County Sheriff’s Office deputy suspended for insensitiv­e comment,” Maryland Independen­t, March 8]. I have been thinking about the article all weekend and felt compelled to give my response from the side of a police family.

My first plan is to stop by the La Plata police station when Pfc. Glover returns, try to locate him and give him a big hug. I first want to thank him for his 20 plus years of service.

Now, I will explain why I feel so strongly about that. I come from a very long line of a “Blue Line” family. My deceased husband, three brothers-in-law, both my son’s, daughter-in-law, grandson, and numerous nephews are involved in law enforcemen­t. These hard working and dedicated police officers, see things every day that no person should have to see. They see the absolute worst of the worst of society then have to try to have it make some kind of sense, so they can go home to their families and live a normal life and to everyone else, they might seem like they are so tough, but they all have a soft side too.

That soft side comes out when they have to comfort someone at an accident scene, go to a domestic call, or to notify someone that their loved one is not coming home. Those calls are an everyday occurrence for these men and women who wear the blue. How can they not be frustrated and upset and yes maybe say things that people find offensive ... they are human, too. But sometimes people forget that. We don’t know what kind of day that Pfc. Glover had the day he commented on the accident, maybe his frustratio­n with the young drivers in the county — the ones he has stopped and given tickets to about speeding, finally got to him. Like the articles have stated — he had over 20 years of going on calls and seeing the worst of the worst.

Nowadays, there is no other profession that is scrutinize­d more than the police, everyone seems to have a “better way” of handling whatever situation that is reported. Well, until you have walked a mile in their shoes — or maybe even two miles — don’t be so quick to judge.

So, why do I think I have the right to defend him? On May 14, 2001, at 1:58 p.m., I had to have a police officer show up at my door letting me know that my husband of over 40 years and a retired Metropolit­an D.C. Police lieutenant, was not coming home.

A tractor trailer ran a red light, taking his life instantly. God bless the officer that showed up at my house, had to give us the bad news and then try to comfort our family. We don’t know what kind of day that officer had before he showed up at my house, but I am sure he would have wanted to be anywhere but there.

It is true that we hold our police in a higher standard than most profession­s, but you need to remember that they are people too, with their own families and, yes, their frustratio­ns come out. I for one, am grateful for those men and women who put their lives on the line every single day and I always make it a point to thank them when I see them. I know firsthand how hard the job can be on the police officer and for their families, and I for one, am grateful to each and every one of them. God bless them. Maryellen Popielarch­eck, Mechanicsv­ille

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