As a kid, I remember seeing police cars ride by with the motto “To Protect and Serve” on their side. These words were a reflection and constant reminder that police officers were dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the community and enforcing the law. Then police officers were heroes. They were honored for the dangerous and important work they do. That has since changed. Thanks to the many instances of racial profiling and police brutality by police officers seen in the media the community that once respected policemen fear and despise them. Those that protect and serve are no longer considered to be heroes but are seen as the bad guys, but that should not be. We have to remember that there are thousands of honest, hard-working, and trustworthy policemen all over the US that risk their lives daily to make sure that the laws of our land are upheld. They risk their safety and lives to combat crime and injustice and are worthy of respect. We have to forgive. If we harbor I’ll feelings about all police because of the actions of a few then we are no better than the policemen we claim stereotype us. 24 hours a day police officers work hard to serve our communities, and we must continue to value their hard work keep good relations with them. I honestly believe in the legal system and think it is necessary for the community as a whole to trust it as well. We have to obey the law, support those that enforce it, and hold those that break the law accountable police and civilians. We also must keep policemen in prayer and not blame all police officers for the horrendous actions of a few.

Below I interviewed a few policemen to get a better perspective of who they are and their opinions on today’s problems.

carltonCarlton J. Releford, 26, Senior Police Officer, 4 years as a policeman.

Question: Why did you become a policeman? “The ultimate goal was to be a US Marshal, but you need work experience, so I dove into local law enforcement because that’s where you make the most difference when dealing with everyday crisis.”

Question: What is the worst scenario you face as a police officer? “Dealing with dead bodies. It never gets easy. You never get used to it. As a police officer, you have to be strong, and level-headed. You walk into a house and make sure everything is ok. You are dealing with people when they are at their lowest level in life when their loved ones have died, and you have to be strong and level-headed.” “It takes a special type of person to do this job. When people are running away from danger policeman run into danger. That cannot be taught in any classroom or school. That is just the mindset of policemen.”

wilieWillie Thompson, 33, 12 years as a Deputy Sheriff with DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Question: What is the most rewarding thing about your job? “It sounds cliché, but you want to treat people like you want to be treated at the end of the day. My biggest reward is treating you the opposite of the negative view people have of police.”

Question: What do you say to people that have a negative view of police?“ Just like there are good white people there are bad white people. There are good black people and bad black people. There are good policemen and there are bad policemen. We are all humans and nobody’s perfect, that does not make it right but that is just the way it is. There are also good civilian and bad civilians.

Question: Name some of the dangerous things you do?“Serve warrants, go to people’s homes and arrest them. It is dangerous because you don’t know what lies behind that door. Traffic stops because you don’t know what will happen.”

tony printupAntonio Printup, age 40, 14 years in Law enforcement and police training.

Question: What do you say to people that have negative views about the police? “You can’t judge every officer by the actions of a few.” “People see law enforcement and cops and they escalate the situation because of other incidents and you can’t react negatively to police based on incidents in the news.” “We can’t stereotype! Not everyone that walks with their pants down is a criminal. You can’t judge everyone with rims on their car as a dope boy. That goes the same way with the community as well as police.”