Letter: America’s war against crime must be civil one


With all the disgusting news about police brutality in the news, it must be time for better police training.

As a former cop from another time and state, I can attest that proper policing is difficult because it requires submitting one’s personal feelings, ambitions, and ego to that of the public need. Cops are people just like us. We all have egos, ambitions, and feelings.

But being a good cop requires adequate training that many small jurisdictions either can’t afford, don’t know much about, or might not even care. Cops have to rise above instinctive reactions to restore order.

Hiring is a problem too when available applicants are war affected servicemen with ingrained survival instincts, subconscious self preservation reactions, a tendency to view all adversity as being enemy, and hardened mental reactions that overwhelm them when surging hormones from sudden crises take over.

The war against crime must be civil.

These days, training must not address these situations enough. Some police academies seem to be ego boosting “hurrah citadels” that turn out “boots” more anxious to make names for themselves, find and punish criminal behavior, and get promotions in rank, than to act as peaceful Peace Officers serving the public need.

The difference between control and punishment needs to be emphasized. Police are charged with maintaining lawful controls and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Police are not authorized to inflict punishment. Only legitimate judicial decrees can do that.

When the Minneapolis policeman put his knee on the neck of a man already controlled by behind-the-back handcuffing and prone positioning, it was clearly an act of punishment that was being disguised by the innocuous “disinterested-look-away hand-in-pocket” ruse… the disinterest being the most disgusting part.

Civilization is having a hard time rising above jungle mentality … on both sides.

Let’s do better.

Al Williams

Oak Harbor

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