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In Your Opinion: Fix The Problem And Move On

By Bill Connell, Somerset.

This spring I was on the New Jersey Turnpike in a snow squall and got a flat tire on my driver’s side. I got out of my car to assess the situation. It was terrifying. I could feel the kinetic energy of the cars as they passed. I had the choice of potentially damaging my car to get to a safe place and that’s what I did.

Ever since then I have been more mindful that police officers do this every day, all across the county. I don’t know how you put that fear out of your mind. Not to mention the 20-foot walk from the patrol car to the person they are pulling over. They have no idea if they are going to get a polite person or some jack wagon who is going to make their day hard. The worst thing that can happen to me is I get a paper cut, or a local official or maybe John Felix uses my words against me.

The comment was made to me maybe I should stop opining in the newspaper and just ask good questions. I realize I don’t want to, or am hesitant to. I don’t want to be part of a culture that helps villianize all police officers.

That said, I made a comment in my previous Speak Out where I said the police force is as much a corporation as anything else and this is about employee management. Officers were not borrowed from heaven, they are your friends, neighbors, coworkers and high school friends.

I know this discussion has nothing to do with the risk of being a police officer, but leadership. You still have to worry about morale. Being right and scoring points is less important then honestly fixing the problem and moving on. In the end someone’s life or well-being could depend on it.

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