The question over dinner Saturday night was a fair one. It’s one you also may have asked yourself.
“Who would want to be a police officer?”
In no way was it asked with the intention of excusing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he could breathe no longer. Nor was it an excuse for those officers who stood and watched, yet did nothing to stop it. Plain and simple, the death of George Floyd was murder and a dark moment in America.
But the question was geared at what’s happened since.
Rocks have been hurled at officers as they’ve tried to keep stores and small businesses from being destroyed and looted. Police have been shot at as they’ve attempted to keep American cities and churches from burning.
These officers that are being targeted are the same officers we turn to in times of turmoil.
They are the standout officers.
Guys like Shane Hartman.
As a Shawnee Township police sergeant years ago, Hartman was honored as the Lima Exchange Club Law Officer of the Year. His acts of heroism were many. He had forced his way into a burning apartment complex to rescue residents. He also had helped evacuate 80 residents from a fire at Primrose Retirement Home. And when an elderly couple drove their vehicle onto a frozen pond, he was among those to jump in and save the woman’s life.
There are many Shane Hartmans on our police forces today.
In receiving the award, Hartman said since the age of 18 he dreamed of being a police officer. It was a noble thought. He wanted to to help people and keep the community safe to the point of even putting his own life in jeopardy to keep the peace.
We wonder how many people are willing to say that right now.
It’s a shame how the actions of a few can tarnish the reputation of others.
The same holds true with those who looted and caused all the violence. We cannot allow their actions to overshadow the message being delivered by the many young people — black and white — who have taken to our streets to remind us that our lives, and what we do, do matter.
ROSES AND THORNS: A spot in the rose garden is reserved for an unknown man who made sure the big one didn’t get away for a fisherman.
Rose: To Connie Dodge, who tells the story of a wallet being found along Agerter Road near the reservoir inside a tackle box. It contained $3,700. A good Samaritan found the the wallet and tackle box and got it back to the owner, who just returned to the area from New Mexico, Dodge said.
Rose: To Al Smith, outdoor writer for The Lima News. Last week he celebrated his 50th year as a paid journalist.
PARTING SHOT: On Father’s Day, remember: Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.