Sunday, July 17, 2016 | 2 a.m.
The recent murders of five police officers by a lunatic thug in Dallas should deeply disturb every American to their very core.
As a 25-year police veteran of Las Vegas, I am sickened by the level of violence and disrespect my fellow brothers and sisters are experiencing nationwide. The men and women who serve the Las Vegas community fully understand the risks and consequences of serving as law enforcement officers. However, none of us took an oath to become political pawns and ultimately victims of murder due to a society and culture which seems to fail to embrace personal accountability for some of its citizens.
Locally, we have embraced the “community orientated policing” model for more than a quarter century. Local, hard-working, dedicated officers have taken leaps and bounds to appease our community with special programs, projects, committees, review boards, as well as cultural and sensitivity training.
Metro Police have even taken the bold step of inviting a Department of Justice task force to review the policies and practices and render an opinion as to how they may better serve our community.
I believe it’s time for many Americans to stop looking toward their police professionals to solve their social, economic, mental health, or drug abuse issues.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown recently said, “We are asking our cops to do too much in this country.” I couldn’t agree more.
Brown also indicated that Americans should start looking to be a part of the solution instead of the problem. Each year, we put a little more responsibility on the shoulders of our cops regarding issues and tasks that should be assigned to others. We spend more time analyzing what, where, how, and why cops are doing this or that. This level of scrutiny usually ends up with what we like to call “paralysis through analysis.”
All the while, social and mainstream media are continually pounding on law enforcement based on misconceived and naïve expectations. Several recent grand jury inquires and criminal trials for alleged police criminal conduct across the country have proven that what one may see on video often isn’t the accurate or whole story.
I’m afraid more and more of our police officers will be casually assigned blame and therefore victimized until the silent majority of Americans step up and let our leaders know that enough is enough! Isn’t is time to allow law enforcement to simply enforce the law?
Let’s go one step further: Aren’t we way overdue to start holding criminals responsible for their actions and stop making excuses for them time and time again? Rome is burning, my fellow citizens. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Mark Chaparian is executive director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Assn., the police officers’ union.