Editorial

Enough is enough: TOGETHER everyone achieves more

Saturday, September 23, 2017

“To some this is just a picture of a line. To others…it is a family crest.” I saw this quote on a homemade painting depicting the law enforcement family by using a thin blue line running from side to side between the words.

Thank God for the members of the thin blue line. Our law enforcement officers at times are all that stands between the helpless and real life monsters. They, and I mean ALL of them, are greatly appreciated! Thank you.

But as the quote above indicates, they are more than coworkers to each other. They are more than even a fraternity. They are family. It matters not what uniform they wear, what unit or shift they work or even what state they hail from. They are all one big family. That is why hundreds or thousands of law enforcement personnel will travel across state or even across the country to honor a fallen comrade that they didn’t even know. Because when a family member bleeds or dies, they all bleed or die a little bit as well. They have to be that tight. Unfortunately, at times, all they might have is each other.

They are the same family, they are the same T.E.A.M. also, no matter if they are city police, county sheriff, state police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are all, 99.9 percent of the time, fighting on the same side against common enemies. (They wouldn’t call them enemies, but I would.)

T.E.A.M. means, “TOGETHER everyone achieves more.” And I’m sure that most all of you have heard the quote, “there is no ‘I’ in team!” Well that is because the waves and flood tides of evil that our world faces today have grown in strength and number and it takes all of us to defeat it.

Each T.E.A.M. member is like a finger, and together we make quite a punch when we clinch in a unified fist…but as solitary fingers we are just accusatory and also merely poking. Fingers are easily broken and poking has probably stopped very few crimes.

Nevertheless, teams and families argue and have shouting matches at times. It isn’t the harsh words or the fights that are so important, it is the ultimate unity that must come afterwards.

In my humble opinion, this dust up (not to minimize it) has been coming for some time now. While I’m not a member of the family itself, I am closely acquainted with a number of them – I’m definitely a friend of the family. Therefore I have known that some tension has been brewing for quite a while. Again, families do that and it is okay, just as long as family doesn’t become estranged. But as a family friend, I recognize that its time for an intervention.

The squabbling has gone on long enough though. And it is not coming just from one direction. Whether the animosity has come from Sheriff Dale Cook’s decision to create a “Street Crimes Unit” which has ruffled the feathers of some within the BPD and the DTF or whether it is offensive that the Sheriff's Department would require all officers dropping off prisoners at the county jail to be forced to fill out a few lines of narrative either on their citation or on a jail form, is that really a big deal? The animosity between the city and county over jail fees should not trickle down to the two departments either. Also, for the moment this is a free country, so if an employee comes or goes to/from another area law enforcement agency, instead of being unforgiving about “poaching,” how about just being glad they are still on the same T.E.A.M./family? Likewise, just as a department head in a non-law enforcement capacity has no business interfering with how the Governor manages his office staff, local law enforcement chiefs/sheriffs have no business meddling/publically criticizing how their peer department heads manage their employees. You all have enough to manage, without peering into their windows to see how they manage their staff.

I know that law enforcement is comprised primarily of “type A”, strong, dominant personalities, oftentimes with short fuses…I get that and fully understand. I completely understand how words and actions fly in the heat of the moment that might not otherwise occur; but just remember, hyperbole and exaggeration for the purpose of political points is down right asinine. Lets ratchet down the smack talk and come together.

By the way, from my past experience I fully understand a strong hand when it comes to management. Since the buck stops with the person at the top, they have to have their fingerprint on all aspects of operations. But, lets be clear. Speaking to all law enforcement department heads, that is not YOUR department. Those departments are OURS, we just allow you to give them oversight for a time.

So I am pleading with all area law enforcement agencies, city, county, state and federal. If there are unresolved animosities or issues that need to be ironed out, lets get the junk settled and make up. Shake hands as men do. Forgive and love as women do. And lets point our attention and metaphorical weapons at the real enemy, not one another.

Anything that I can do to facilitate a meeting of the key personnel to help bring this to pass, please don’t hesitate to let me know. As a friend of the family, I love you all and it is tearing me up inside to see you fight!

thenry@blythevillecourier.com