Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NE Times OPED: Sen. Pat Toomey - Law enforcement officers deserve to be treated with respect

Op-ed: Law enforcement officers deserve to be treated with respect

Senator Pat Toomey
Since 1947, the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment has partnered with res­id­ents, busi­nesses and loc­al com­munity lead­ers to run the Phil­adelphia Po­lice Ath­let­ic League, or PAL.
The mis­sion of the PAL is a simple one: “Cops Help­ing Kids.” It is how the PAL helps kids, though, that is the story.
Po­lice of­ficers from across the Phil­adelphia op­er­ate both edu­ca­tion­al and re­cre­ation­al pro­grams for kids in some of the most dan­ger­ous sec­tions of the city in an ef­fort to re­duce crime and to pro­mote a sense of self-worth. In many cases, PAL-op­er­ated fa­cil­it­ies serve as a safe place for young people from across Phil­adelphia. To date, PAL has worked with more than 15,000 kids.
A few weeks ago, while on his way home to his fam­ily after a 12-hour overnight shift, Rad­nor Po­lice Of­ficer James Galla­gh­er en­countered the scene of a ter­rible mul­ti­car crash on I-476. Stop­ping to help, he first ap­proached the car of a couple and their 1-year-old son. The hus­band had already passed away, so he turned his at­ten­tion to the moth­er and her child. Of­ficer Galla­gh­er quickly cut the car seat free and moved the child to a safe area be­fore re­turn­ing to help the moth­er. His life-sav­ing ac­tions didn’t end there, as he as­sisted ar­riv­ing emer­gency per­son­nel by con­tinu­ing to ap­proach in­volved cars to as­sess who needed help.
These are just two re­cent ex­amples of law en­force­ment of­ficers serving and pro­tect­ing our com­munit­ies. These stor­ies don’t al­ways make the head­lines or the even­ing news. It’s too bad, be­cause these are the po­lice men and wo­men we en­counter most every day. 
That said, we have seen head­lines about protests that cri­ti­cize law en­force­ment in light of events in Fer­guson, Mis­souri and Staten Is­land. These pro­test­ers have some­times made threat­en­ing re­marks about po­lice of­ficers. And un­for­tu­nately, some op­por­tun­ists are also us­ing these anti-po­lice protests to en­cour­age dis­rupt­ive acts that dam­age prop­erty and wreak hav­oc on every­day, law-abid­ing cit­izens.
Let me be clear, every Amer­ic­an has the right to peace­fully protest. And when of­ficers break the law, they should be held ac­count­able. However, those pro­test­ers cross a line when they en­dorse vi­ol­ence – par­tic­u­larly vi­ol­ence to­ward law en­force­ment.
Pro­test­ers in New York City re­cently chanted, “What do we want?….Dead cops!” as they marched. This dis­gust­ing and omin­ous chant was shouted just days be­fore two NYPD of­ficers—Ra­fael Ramos and Wenji­an Liu—were murdered.

No comments:

Post a Comment