Individuals may fail, but the system is not broken

Amid the recent controversy and conflict surrounding the police and policing methods, I would want all of us to step back and think a bit about people in a community.

People generally get along. However, there are times that people hurt one another. It might happen from careless disregard, ingrained prejudice or getting overly stressed and lashing out.

Regardless of why, painful and dangerous conflict is inevitable, and more common with larger communities. A natural step is to designate members of the community to help de-escalate, arbitrate and otherwise resolve these problems in a safe manner. This is the root of our modern police, people in the community designated to help resolve intense interpersonal conflicts. That helps us to see a police force as a positive thing.

However, there are places where change needs to be made, change such that our police are better ingrained as part of the community, as part of each community. It is also good to see that police officers are people, that all the things that cause a normal person to do wrong also applies to them.

Even as an inmate in prison, I have the utmost sympathy for someone whose job is to deal with people when those people are at their worst. That has to be incredibly stressful, and that can be a police officer’s daily life. Just because individuals fail does not mean the system is broken … but it does look like change is needed.

Silas Parks


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