Letter: Missed opportunity to honor first responders

An article last Friday entitled “Some Musings on Police Week” was supposed to commemorate and honor officers who fell in the line of duty and encourage law enforcement. However, the body of the article was somewhat disjointed, with innuendos of actions against law enforcement.

This was an excellent opportunity to enlighten the community on those officers who come to work to protect and serve the community, as well as those who gave their lives for all. We should have events for other public safety officers — first-responders, first-line supervisors in private organizations who are faced with difficult situations and people on a daily basis.

We sometimes forget about those servicing and assisting the community in public agencies and institutions, such as social workers, teachers and others. Let’s not forget our military family members, who are always faced with the threat of making spit-second decisions.

A few years back, the idea of conflict resolution was a stable training tool used by many companies to thwart problems in the workplace. A few of the lessons learned:

• Decide what’s fair from a position of neutrality.

• Overconfidence in making decisions leads to unrealistic expectations.

• Irrationally escalates commitment to a chosen course of action.

Sharon Fairley, a former federal prosecutor who led the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, said the use of force can be broken down into two core components:

“The first question is: Was it necessary to use force at all?” she said. “And then the second question: Was the force that was used in proportion to the threat?”

People’s actions will speak for themselves, and we have to separate the good from the bad.

Bob Proby

Shawnee Township


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