Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver recently posted this letter on Facebook
Not long after I post this, a small segment of angry people will attempt to hijack the thread by telling us that police work is not a dangerous profession and that police brutality is far more rampant than the incidents involving police being killed in the line of duty. That is the warning for all of the common sense possessing people on our page. Don’t let the angry folks cloud your vision. They do not like police officers, no matter how they dress it up.
Police line of duty deaths are up 3% this year to date. While that does not sound like much, there is a startling fact associated with that number. The deaths of police officers by gunfire are up 52%. That is unacceptable on more levels than I can express in words.
Police officers, in spite of some small minded ideas capped by “it’s what they signed up for,” should not be killed by fellow citizens on the streets of any civilized country. This is America and it is shameful. Tonight, the family members of 72+ officers killed this year will go to sleep without their loved one. Yes, there have been at least 72 police officers killed in the line of duty this year. There have been at least four officers killed during every month of 2014, with three so far in September.
The wheels are coming off in our society when it comes to authority. During the last decade or so, some young people stopped respecting authority and stopped fearing consequences. When you have no boss and no consequences for bad behavior, that certainly transitions to an adult who lacks respect for authority and does not give a second thought to any consequences. The second half of that equation, at least in the mind of one police chief in one corner of the world, involves a complicit legislature and criminal justice system that is increasingly soft on crime. Police make arrests, defendants go to court, take their slap on the wrist…and lose respect for any and all authority from that point forward. The justice system is becoming all bark, no bite. Many or most of the people who assault and kill officers have prior records and should STILL be serving time.
Now, before you anti-police folks start in with your drivel, remember one thing. In a year of 12 million or so arrests, police use deadly force about 400 times. Don’t start with the comments about “police killing civilians,” because that is just not accurate. The simple answer to that problem is to drop the knife, gun, ball bat and submit to the arrest. You can have your fight in court, not during the arrest. Resisting arrest has become very acceptable to some. It is not acceptable to us. We do not have the luxury of walking away and saying “well, sir, if you don’t WANT to be arrested, I guess we will just leave. Please turn yourself in as soon as you desire.”
I have said it before and will continue to say it. Killing a police officer is not acceptable. It should be nationwide front page news and there should be outrage when it happens. There is not.
And it is shameful…..Chief Oliver
Brimfield Police Department
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