Most cops are thoughtful, responsible and honorable people

I’m a cop’s kid. I grew up around cops, Lincoln County cops in fact. I worked as an L.A.P.D. 911 dispatcher for 20 years and had the pleasure of working closely with thousands of cops, men and women from all backgrounds, and I got to know many of them personally. In my short time working in the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, my respect for law enforcement officials has continued to grow as they serve our community 24/7.

In light of current events, I feel compelled to speak up on the behalf of these members of our community. Folks, in the 50 years I’ve spent around this profession, I can tell you without a doubt that the stories coming out in the news about cops behaving criminally represent a very small percentage of a very large body of thoughtful, responsible and honorable people.

It is unsafe to assume that these people who have vowed to put their life on the line in order to protect and serve their community are universally hate-filled or corrupt. Those traits simply do not reflect the vast majority of our law enforcement officials. Recently, several of our own cops have been on the receiving end of the public’s disgruntled responses to what they see on the news. Several of our officers have been targets of passive aggressive displays from the public while on duty, being flipped off, etc. All the while, they’re still responding to countywide dispatch calls for domestic violence, child abuse and worse, while shouldering the unique burden and risk of working through the COVID crisis. And they never complain.

At a time like this, I’m grateful that my dad is no longer with us to see this transpire — it would have broken his heart. Now, more than ever, we need to unify and strengthen our community, and that means extending the warmth of our community to our law enforcement. Please consider demonstrating acts of kindness toward any law enforcement officers you come across. It will mean more to them, and our community, than you could ever know.

Tony Rivers



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