Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Wait for the whole story

I believe that any person, including a cop, deserves the chance to have their statement heard before conclusions are drawn and arrows are fired. So why doesn’t the deputy involved (Jay Wallace, News-Times, Feb. 15) just make a statement to the media? He can’t! This is an official proceeding. The deputy is restrained from speaking with anyone other than Guild representatives. On advice of our attorney he is not making statements about the situation. He must sit quietly with his family enduring whatever comes.

I have noticed an unexplainable eagerness to criticize and publicize events as soon as there is a perceived flaw in someone’s armor. I wonder why we are not as quick to acknowledge performance above and beyond the call of duty. I wonder how many times this deputy has saved a life without anyone even taking notice. I wonder how many times he entered a volatile situation alone where some departments, by policy, will not respond with less than three officers. I wonder how many times he has been justified in using deadly force, yet his training, skill and experience allowed him to end the situation with less violent means.

In the course of a given shift, the average law enforcement officer is presented with dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities to make egregious errors with dire consequences. In the span of a 20 year career, there are thousands of situations wherein the smallest error could end one’s career or life. The odds against us are staggering when you really give it some thought.

Perhaps, no matter the final outcome of this investigation, we could all take a moment to thank him for the thousands of times he entered the arena and fought the fight knowing full well the overwhelming odds against him. Perhaps we could all give this deputy the benefit of the doubt and wait for the whole story to be told before we pass judgement.

Mark A. Plumberg

president, Island County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild Deputy Sheriff’s Division

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