A just society cannot exist without those sworn to carry out law and order. A just society cannot exist if society’s protectors harbor hate and resentment for the very people they are sworn to safeguard.
There is no room in the law enforcement profession for racists and bigots. We are nauseated by the revelations in recent weeks of numerous racist and homophobic text messages allegedly sent by a handful of San Francisco police officers.
This repulsive behavior does not reflect the professionalism and dedication of the more than 2,000 officers who serve the San Francisco Police Department.
Our brothers and sisters in green, blue and tan did not all grow up in the same neighborhoods. They come from different cultural backgrounds. They have accents – or not, depending on how you look at it. Their hair, eyes and skin tones come in all different shades.
And they reflect the patchwork of people we are sworn to protect. More than 3 million people live in Orange County. More than 319 million people live in the United States. No two are exactly alike.
There are nearly 1 million sworn police officers in the United States. Despite differences in background and culture, every day these men and women put on their uniforms and go to work in big and little cities across our nation willing to lay down their lives for strangers they may never meet.
It is unfortunate that the reprehensible words of a few have done more to color society’s opinions of law enforcement officers than the countless graveyard shifts, aching backs and lasting trauma endured by true public servants.
Those hateful words – and the sentiment behind them – are not who we are. We must never forget that while we are not responsible for hiring law enforcement officers, we are all responsible for protecting society – and our profession – from those who cast us in a bad light.
Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
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- MEMBER ADVISEMENT: Dep. Chris Emerson (February 17, 2017)
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